The Real Reason Andy Cohen Wasn't Allowed To Donate Plasma

Andy Cohen, Bravo talk show host, producer, and writer spoke out about being told he's "ineligible" to donate plasma to help those suffering from the coronavirus. According to CNN, Cohen tested positive for the virus in March and recovered a few weeks later. He recently explained to viewers on his show, Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, that he signed up for a program for COVID-19 survivors who can donate plasma that is rich in antibodies. But he was turned down.


"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," Cohen said during the show. "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, though no such blanket restrictions exist for people of other sexual orientations."

Andy Cohen says FDA needs to update its rules

Cohen explained his frustration with this, as the FDA has stated there's a critical 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 said. "So, 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 valuing stigma over science? I don't know. My blood could save a life but instead it's over here boiling."


His statements come on the heels of data from John Hopkins University showing the number of people in the U.S. killed by COVID-19 has reached over 50,000. The host also questioned why the FDA hasn't adapted, when so many people have had to adapt since the pandemic began. "It is bad enough that quarantine has us wondering what day it is, I'm sitting here wondering what year it is," Cohen said. "We need to think about this and do better."

GLAAD took to Twitter to thank Cohen "for speaking out against the ban that prevents gay and bi men and others in the LGBTQ community from donating blood and plasma." The organization also shared a link to a petition that is working to end the restrictions.