Senators, members of Congress join the fight
By PATRICK SAUNDERS email@example.com
On Thursday, June 9, OneBlood, a blood bank that services Florida and parts of Georgia and South Carolina, issued a press release saying they had an “urgent need” for O negative blood, a type of blood that’s in constant demand because it can be given to any patient regardless of their blood type. In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, shots began to ring out at Orlando LGBT nightclub Pulse.
Over the next several hours, victims were transported to area hospitals, and OneBlood issued another call for blood, this one another “urgent need” for not only O negative, but O positive and AB plasma blood donors. 49 people died as a result of the shooting, with another 53 being injured. One of OneBlood’s own employees was among the dead.
It’s unclear if the number of deaths from the Pulse shooting would have been any different had there not been a blood shortage in the area, but one glaring irony emerged from the incident: more blood would have already been on hand and more donors would have shown up to give in the aftermath of the shooting if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t ban gay and bisexual men from donating blood.
And now senators and members of Congress are calling on the FDA to change its policy, and activists around the country are employing unique tactics to get them to do the same.
New guidelines still single out gay, bi men
Mourners gathered on June 12 at TEN Atlanta for a vigil in honor of the victims of the Pulse shooting. (Photo by Patrick Saunders)