Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men

Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men
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More than a a dozen Democratic senators signed a letter Thursday urging Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn to ease restrictions on blood donations by on men who have recently had sex with men, as the coronavirus outbreak has led to a dire shortage of blood.

The current rule, which the senators describe as "discriminatory" in their letter, prohibits men who who have had sex with other men in the past 12 months from donating.

"With important advances in blood screening and safety technology, a time-based deferral policy is not scientifically sound, continues to effectively exclude many healthy gay and bisexual men, and does not meet the urgent demands of the moment," the senators wrote.

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Continuing, the group added: "It is imperative that we move away from discriminatory donor deferral policies that prohibit many healthy individuals from contributing much-needed blood and blood products."

The Senators cited in their letter that the American Association of Blood Banks has predicted "355,000 fewer blood donations as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak."

Last week, Surgeon General Jerome Adams called on Gen Z and Millennials to donate blood, saying that "one donation can save up to three lives."

Among the signees of the letter were Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSteyer endorses Biden for president Biden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden faces tough task of uniting Democrats MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSteyer endorses Biden for president Sanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Sanders 2020 press secretary: Democratic leadership interested in 'corporate status quo' or 'they're planning to replace Joe' MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths Harris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Mnuchin, Schumer in talks to strike short-term relief deal | Small businesses struggling for loans | Treasury IG sends Dems report on handling of Trump tax returns MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths Bipartisan lawmakers call for global 'wet markets' ban amid coronavirus crisis Former Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report MORE (D-N.J.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license Senators, bipartisan state officials press Congress for more election funds The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden faces tough task of uniting Democrats MORE (D-Minn.).