Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

AG Shapiro Calls on FDA to Ease Restrictions on Blood Donations by Gay and Bisexual Men
A

Your Content is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro is urging the FDA to revise guidance to make it easier for all Americans to donate blood amid the coronavirus pandemic, Your Content can report.

Shapiro joined 19 other states in penning a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration ​​supporting efforts to maintain an adequate national blood supply to aid the medical response during the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Advertisement -

In the letter, the attorneys general argue that the FDA’s guidance must replace their discriminatory standard for blood donations with one based on science. The letter advocates moving toward a risk-based, gender neutral screening model and further revising guidance to make it easier for all Americans to donate blood and plasma in response to the nation’s needs during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“It is time to end this dated, discriminatory practice, especially during an emergency when all Pennsylvanians want to play a part in keeping people in their communities safe and healthy,” said Attorney General Shapiro. 

​“Restrictions for blood donations should be based on fact-based risk factors, not discredited, homophobic presumptions about someone’s life. It’s time for the Trump Administration to do what is right and roll back these outdated restrictions.”

- Advertisement -

In the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis, blood drives and donations have dropped significantly. Every day, the United States needs approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells, nearly 7,000 units of platelets, and 10,000 units of plasma to provide blood transfusions for major surgeries, treat patients and victims of trauma, and more.

The American Red Cross, which provides about 40 percent of our nation’s blood and blood components, recently reported less than a five-day blood supply on hand. As of mid-March, over 4,000 blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns and closures of schools and workplaces where these drives are usually held, resulting in over 100,000 fewer blood donations.

Recently, the FDA issued revised guidance related to blood donation policies for the LGBTQ community. This guidance reduced the wait period after sexual activity for gay and bisexual men from twelve months to three months.While this reform takes a step toward increasing blood donations made by healthy bisexual and gay men in a time when the nation’s supply of blood and blood products is at risk of collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not go far enough.

Data from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law Williams Institute indicates that lifting restrictions completely, as compared to a 12-month waiting period, would produce more than 2 million additional eligible blood donors, including nearly 175,000 likely blood donors, and would produce nearly 300,000 pints of additional donated blood annually.

Attorney General Shapiro also argues that moving toward a risk-based model, rather than one based on gender, is not only more appropriate to address the population’s needs, but is also more in line with laws that protect against discrimination. A population-based policy singling out bisexual and gay men threatens the constitutional right to equal protection safeguarded by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Over the long term, the FDA should instead look at risk behavior rather than sex for determining who should donate blood. 

Attorney General Shapiro joins the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Virginia.

Stay with Your Content for the latest updates. Have a story or news tip? Contact our 24/7 newsroom at 833.336.8013 or e-mail our tip line: [email protected]

Protect Independent Journalism

Your Content is a nonprofit newsroom that produces nonpartisan, evidence-based journalism to expose injustice, corruption and wrongdoing.

Spearheading the news revolution for Americans across the nation, Your Content has brought a voice to those the media failed to acknowledge.

This story you’ve just finished was funded by our readers and we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Your Content so that we can publish more reports like this one that holds people in power to account and produces real change.

Your donation will help us ensure that we can continue this critical work. We are busier than ever covering stories you won’t see anywhere else.

World’s First ‘FORCED Coronavirus Lockdown’ to Be Imposed if Lawmakers Don’t Adhere to New Guidance

It’s the first major city in the world to impose forced restrictions due to disagreements between lawmakers.

Police in Delaware County Deem Fatal Car Crash A Homicide, Suspect At-Large

Police in D​elco responded to reports of a fatal car accident early—and they’ve deemed the situation a homicide.

Michael Myers Caught During Casual Drive, Woman Escapes Death After Scolding the Masked Man

Michael Myers has ditched TV-town for a smaller and more laid back lifestyle in suburban America.

Jeffrey Toobin ‘Wasn’t Thinking About Gloria Allred’ Amid Masterbation Scandal

The New Yorker has suspended reporter Jeffrey Toobin for masturbating on a Zoom video chat.

Former Prison Guard ‘Head Over Heels’ As She Cozies Up with Bill Cosby’s PR Manager Andrew Wyatt

Slowly but surely, their relationship has emerged from the shadows. The two were captured wining and dining at multiple high-end Philly eateries.

Pennsylvania Reports Over 2,000 New Cases of COVID-19 in TWO Days

There is now a two-day total of 2,372 additional positive cases of COVID-19.

Biden SHOOSHES Female Staffer Like Farm Animal, Says His Son, Hunter, Has SHOTGUNS

Fragile former VP Joe Biden mistakenly revealed he and his two sons own several firearms despite Hunter's problem with crack cocaine.

Borat Finds Voter Who Reveals ‘The Democrat IS More Dangerous Than Coronavirus’

Borat has returned to America in effort to quarantine from the deadly coronavirus only to find out Democrats 'are more dangerous than the virus.'

Stay Informed & Get Your Content, Daily.

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Your Content is a 501(c)(3) non-profit national American media organization of artists and journalists headquartered in Pennsylvania.