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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is urging people who recover from coronavirus to help others by donating blood.
Suarez, who rebounded from his own personal battle with the virus, said Saturday on “Fox & Friends Weekend” that he realized he had a special responsibility as one of the first people to test positive in Miami-Dade County.
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“The fight against COVID-19 doesn’t end when you beat it inside your body,” the Republican mayor said. “That just begins the fight, because you build up antibodies and you have plasma that you can share.”
“So, I’m using it as a call to action,” he said.
After his recovery, Suarez, 42,said he was contacted by OneBlood, which collects plasma from COVID-19 survivors, and “by a family who had a father in critical condition at one of our local hospitals.”
He said he had the right blood type “so it all sort of came together.”
“I’m trying to set the example that once people are able to overcome COVID-19, we have a responsibility to help those who have had much more severe cases,” Suarez said..
The mayor said that although the virus affects people in different ways blood donations help everyone.
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“I’m healthy. But, unfortunately, the person that I’m helping is close to 70 years old and is on a respirator now. So my hope and prayer is that he is able to come out of it well, and that others will follow my lead and do likewise,” he said.
“It’s incredibly important. There are so many people that are infected right now. And every single day ever since I did the plasma donation, I can tell you, the flood of calls that I’m receiving from all parts of Florida is incredible.”
Suarez has also teamed with superstar musician Pitbull to help bring some levity to the city’s 10 p.m. coronavirus-fighting curfew.
Pitbull’s new global anthem “I Believe That We Will Win” is broadcast at the start of the nightly lighting of a 60-story electronic American flag on a Miami skyscraper.
As of Saturday morning, Florida had reported more than 11,000 cases of COVID-19 and nearly 200 deaths.
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