Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsGOP senator defends hiring sex-crimes prosecutor for Kavanaugh hearing Coons says Senate may know more about Kavanugh's social life than Bush-era legal work Judiciary Democrat calls for additional witnesses to testify on Kavanaugh MORE (D-Del.) said the administration didn’t go far enough in lifting restrictions on blood and organ donations from gay men.

“It is long past time that our blood donation rules are updated to reflect science, rather than outdated fears,” Coons said Tuesday. “For more than 30 years, gay and bisexual men have been banned from giving blood simply because of whom they love."

ADVERTISEMENT

This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will lift the lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, but only if they have been celibate for at least one year.

Many lawmakers applauded the move, but said more should be done because scientific evidence says straight people are just as likely — if not more — to contract HIV or AIDS. Coons, along with several other Democrats, have said the blood donation ban is discriminatory against the gay community.

“Our scientific and medical understanding of HIV and AIDS has advanced remarkably since the epidemic’s earliest days and our policies should reflect that fact,” Coons said. “The FDA’s lifting of the lifetime ban on blood donation is a first step toward ridding our policies of discrimination and rooting them in science, but I remain concerned these changes do not solve the underlying problem.” 

Coons added that he hopes the FDA will make additional changes in the future.