MIAMI – City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has become Florida’s first COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor, his office confirmed Friday in a news release.
According to the news release, Suarez, who was released from quarantine Tuesday, has fully recovered after being diagnosed with the virus. His donation will be used to help a critically ill patient at a hospital in Florida.
“COVID-19 convalescent plasma is an experimental treatment that has been approved by the FDA to be used on an emergency basis to help people with life-threatening coronavirus infections,” the news release stated.
Suarez donated his plasma through OneBlood, which is one of the largest nonprofit blood centers in the U.S.
The mayor’s donation comes days after OneBlood announced that it would begin collecting plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and who meet the Food and Drug Administration’s qualifications to be a donor.
According to the news release, the patient contacted the mayor in hopes of Suarez helping with his recovery.
“I have a moral responsibility to do this. My plasma donation has the potential to help a coronavirus patient recover,” Suarez said in a statement. “I want this to be a call to action for other people who have recovered from the coronavirus to follow in my footsteps and find out if they are eligible to be a plasma donor so together we can help more people who are suffering with coronavirus.”
According to the news release, those who recover from the novel coronavirus develop antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood.
“Transfusing the plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus can provide a boost to the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover,” the news release stated.
Suarez, who was the second patient diagnosed with COVID-19 in Miami-Dade County, has since tested negative for the virus two consecutive times.
Suarez began self-quarantining after attending an event in Miami where a Brazilian delegation member who tested positive for COVID-19 was present. After one day in self-quarantine, his office confirmed that Suarez had tested positive for the virus.