Andy Cohen is demanding an update to “antiquated and discriminatory” federal guidelines preventing sexually-active gay men like him from donating blood to help others battling Covid-19.
The Watch What Happens Live host has made a full recovery after he was struck down with the coronavirus last month, and he had been hoping his plasma, which is rich in antibodies, could be used in the treatment of other Covid-19 sufferers as part of a new Food and Drug Administration study programme.
U.S. government officials recently relaxed rules banning blood donations from gay men within 12 months of sexual activity amid HIV concerns, but Cohen recently discovered he isn’t eligible because participants still need to have abstained from sex for at least three months prior to giving blood.
The producer and TV presenter blasted the “antiquated and discriminatory guidelines” during the closing segment of his late night talk show Watch What Happens Live on Thursday, claiming they are hypocritical because there are “no such blanket restrictions” outlined for heterosexual donors.
Calling on FDA bosses to ditch the no-sex rule during the pandemic, he explained, “This virus is ravaging our planet. 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. So why the three-month rule? Why are members of my community being excluded from helping out when so many people are sick and dying?”
“My blood could save a life, but instead it’s over here boiling,” he fumed. “This pandemic has forced us to adapt in many ways. We’re quarantining. We’re social distancing. We’re wearing masks. Why can’t we adapt when it comes to this rule?”
Declaring it’s “crazy” he cannot donate blood, he concluded, “We need to think about this and do better.”