The national LGBTQ nonprofit GLAAD organized a petition urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
What We Know:
- NBC reported that the current rules in place for blood donations to the Red Cross dictate that men who have sex with other men abstain from sexual contact for 12 months before donating.
- Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO and president of GLAAD, said in a statement, “The FDA needs to put science above stigma” and that any gay and bisexual men who wants to give blood, should be able to help their fellow Americans.
- In a Thursday briefing from President Trump’s coronavirus task force, Surgeon General Jerome Adams essentially called upon all millennials and Gen Zs to make an impact, urging that even “one donation can save up to three lives”.
- GLAAD released the petition following a call from Adams for more Americans to give blood after the Red Cross canceled 2,700 blood drives over the past month.
- As of March 16, the consequence of those cancellations resulted in 86,000 fewer donations, a significant detriment to the U.S. blood supply.
The FDA has responded to the pleas to change donation policies. They indicate current measures haven’t really changed but the agency would “continue to re-evaluate the situation as the outbreak progresses,” according to a spokesman.