For Immediate Release:
(New York, NY) - The number of Covid-infected persons in the US continues to climb past 1.5 million with over 90,000 deaths. Of those who are infected, it is critical they are tested for Covid antibodies after they have self-quarantined, or have been released from the hospital, to stop the spread of the virus and to determine if their antibodies and plasma can be leveraged in the development of a vaccine.
“Knowledge is power,” said Dan Behrman, Candidate, Behrman 2020. “It’s no secret that Covid is devastating the African American and Hispanic populations. Action needs to be taken now to save lives, and we must bring antibody testing to the people where they live. These ‘house calls‘ are essential for the underserved populations who are dying.”
The recently FDA-approved test called a serological test analyzes a blood sample taken from a finger prick after a person is infected. It picks up two types of antibodies: immunoglobulin M, which is created when the body first reacts to a toxin, and immunoglobulin G, which is the antibody that builds immunity against reinfection. The test delivers results in about 15 minutes, however it is currently only administered in doctors’ offices and laboratories where the chance of Covid reinfection is high. And survivors are physically exhausted from the ravages of the virus. Getting to a testing site is a challenge, especially for lower socioeconomic African American and Hispanic populations who have been impacted the hardest.
Working with a coalition of four (4) U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committees, Mr. Behrman’s pragmatic and compassionate proposal is to utilize the thousands of furloughed medical workers to administer the finger prick test in the survivors’ homes, at no cost to the patients or the taxpayers.
"Our hearts are wounded for the many souls mourned as African American communities across the nation are being disproportionately infected with and dying from the virus that causes COVID-19. We raise our voices to urge state and national leaders to examine the generational and systemic structural conditions that make the new coronavirus especially deadly to African American communities," said Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, chairman of Subcommittee on African American Affairs.
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