Andy Cohen Is Stunned He Is Banned From Donating Plasma to Help COVID-19 Patients Because He Is Gay
After recovering from COVID-19, Bravo producer Andy Cohen wanted to donate his plasma to help those who are still sick with the virus. However, he just revealed on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen he is banned from donating his plasma because he is gay.
“People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus,” according to the American Red Cross. “This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease.” The American Red Cross updated its policy but still have restrictions for gay men.
Cohen, who was hoping he could help others was denied and was shocked to learn the reason why. He didn’t hold back on his evening talk show, leaving his guests speechless.
He was denied due to guidelines designed to prevent HIV
Cohen began by sharing that since recovering from COVID-19, he wanted to see what he could do to help people who were infected. “I signed up for a program for COVID-19 survivors where you could donate plasma, which is rich in antibodies to those still battling the virus,” he explains.
“I was told that due to antiquated and discriminatory guidelines by the FDA to prevent HIV, I am ineligible to donate blood because I’m a gay man,” he continues. His guests Leah McSweeney from The Real Housewives of New York City and actress Wendi McLendon-Covey were on the virtual conference and looked stunned.
“Even the new relaxed rules require gay men to abstain from sex for three months whether they’re in a monogamous relationship or not before giving blood,” he adds. “Though no such blanket restrictions exist for people of other sexual orientations.”
This law interferes with getting urgent help to people
Cohen shares that the virus is bringing the planet to its knees. “The FDA says there is an urgent need for plasma from survivors. All donated blood is screened for HIV. And a rapid HIV test can be done in 20 minutes or less.”
He wonders, “Why the three month rule? Why are members from my community being excluded from helping out? When so many people are sick and dying. Maybe because we’re battling stigma over science. I don’t know. My blood could save a life. But instead, it’s over here boiling. This pandemic has forced us to adapt in many ways. We’re quarantining, we’re social distancing, we’re wearing masks!”
Cohen continues, “Why can’t we adapt when it comes to this rule? It is bad enough that quarantining has us wondering what day it is. I’m sitting here wondering what year it is. We need to think about this and do better.”
Indeed, McSweeney and McLendon-Covey standby and continue to look shocked. “That’s f**king ridiculous,” McLendon-Covey says. “Everything you just said I’m boiling over here!” McSweeney adds “That’s insane!”