Trump urges recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma

Trump urges recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE on Thursday joined public health officials to encourage Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their convalescent blood plasma to be used as a potential treatment for the virus. 

"If you’ve had the virus, if you donate it would be a terrific thing," Trump said during a visit to the American Red Cross headquarters. "We really need donations of the plasma. To those that have had the virus: You’ve gotten through it, and I guess that means you have something very special there."

Convalescent plasma is being studied as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Those who have had the virus and have recovered develop antibodies against the virus in the blood, which could be used to treat those still battling the disease.

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"We've seen that this is a safe treatment and we're encouraged by the early promising data that we've seen," Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn said during a roundtable discussing the coronavirus.

Each roundtable attendee encouraged Americans to donate plasma. Gail McGovern, CEO of the American Red Cross, said the demand for convalescent plasma is outpacing the supply at the organization's blood banks.

Trump toured the Red Cross headquarters ahead of the roundtable, wearing a mask as he did so. He briefly saw a man who had recovered from the virus donating plasma.

Thursday's visit to the Red Cross marked the second event this week Trump has held to highlight progress on potential treatments for the coronavirus. He traveled to North Carolina on Monday to tout progress on vaccine development.

There have been 4.4 million cases of coronavirus in the United States, the most reported cases of any country in the world, and more than 150,000 people in the country have died from the virus.