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Wenstrup, Peters Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Raise Awareness of Live-Saving Plasma Donation Program

Washington, July 24, 2020 Contact: Christopher Krepich (202-225-3164)
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressmen Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M., (R-OH-02) and Scott Peters (D-CA-52) introduced legislation that encourages patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma to help further develop therapeutics and save lives. The Plasma Donation Awareness Act would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a public awareness campaign about the importance of convalescent plasma donations. The legislation enjoys bipartisan and bicameral support as Senators Klobuchar (D-MN) and Wicker (R-MS) have introduced identical legislation in the Senate.

“Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can help saves the lives of those who are currently battling the virus. Our scientists and doctors are making great strides using antibodies in therapeutics and other treatments, however, they need a substantial supply of convalescent plasma to continue their important work,”  said Congressman Wenstrup.“It’s crucial that we raise awareness on how the simple act of donating your plasma can help us save lives, beat the virus, and return to normal. I’m grateful to Congressman Peters for joining me in this important effort and urge my colleagues to join us in getting the word out.”

"San Diegans ask what they can do during this time of crisis. For those who have recovered from coronavirus, a plasma donation can directly save lives and contributes to the science at work to develop treatments,” said  Congressman Peters.“This legislation will ensure the public is aware of the demand for convalescent plasma. I thank Rep. Wenstrup for joining me in leading this bipartisan effort in the House.”

"Hoxworth Blood Center has expanded its lifesaving mission to include the collection of convalescent plasma for patients in critical need. This promising investigational product must get to patients without delay," said Dr. Jose Cancelas, Director Hoxworth Blood Center.“While COVID-19 currently has no proven treatment, it is possible that convalescent plasma, a component of blood from patients that have recovered from COVID-19, may provide sufficient antibodies to fight the virus. Hoxworth Blood Center stands with Congressman Wenstrup and advocates that all survivors of COVID-19 should assist others in their fight by making a lifesaving plasma donation.  The need is real; the need is now - there is a significant need to inform the American public that they can make a difference.  We join in asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct the much needed public awareness campaign on the importance of plasma donation.”

“Donating convalescent plasma is just one way you can help your community in the continued fight against COVID-19. Individuals that have recovered from COVID-19 may have powerful antibodies stored in their plasma. This plasma not only saves lives - but is also key in developing future treatments for COVID-19,”  said Christa Hyson, Assistant Director, Emergency Response & Public Information Officer The Health Collaborative.

Congressman Wenstrup has spoken with numerous doctors and researchers about best practices for collecting plasma and developing therapies. He has been engaged in a public service campaign about the importance of plasma donation through public service announcements and media interviews since late March.

You can find a plethora of resources here:

·     Wenstrup.house.gov/plasma/donate

·     PSA Video to Doctors

·     PSA Video to Patients

·     National TV Interview 3/30/2020

·     National TV Interview 4/11/2020

·     Local TV Interview 4/17/2020

·     Local TV Interview 4/20/2020

·     Local TV interview 4/30/2020

·     National TV Interview 5/4/2020

Potential donors in the Cincinnati area can find more information at the Hoxworth Blood Center’s website.

Additional information can be found at the Red Cross’s website.