Francis Suarez, the Mayor of Miami fell ill to COVID-19 and, thankfully, recovered recently. His initial infection shook up the political establishment in South Florida. Upon recovery, he agreed to donate his plasma, making him first recovered COVID-19 patient in Florida to participate in an experimental transfusion treatment to help other COVID-19 patients. This use of plasma is supported nationwide by the National Convalescent Plasma project, a national group of investigators led by Mayo Clinic.
Earlier in March, Mayor Francis Suarez tested positive for COVID-19. The 42-year old mayor become one of the first U.S. elected officials to learn he had COVID-19 and enter isolation. Fourteen days later, now completely recovered, the mayor was visiting his parent’s house (he was decontaminating his house) when he received a few different Instagram messages from the same number. As it turned out, it was from a very ill COVID-19 patient’s family desperately seeking support from someone that had recovered. The idea was to consider a transfusion of plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient who has in theory developed antibodies to the virus. The story was recently covered by Al Jazeera Media Network.
The mayor, in the spirit of banding together with other patients and investigators, decided to give back and donate his plasma. Suarez, a savvy, charismatic and intelligent elected official understands the way faced by normal people around the nation—and for that matter-world. The American Red Cross is now encouraging others to do the same.
The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma project
This national group of prominent research centers and investigators, representing 34 institutions and 17 states, self-organized into a group that is supporting the effort to utilize survivor plasma to support clinical trials and experimental efforts to save lives.