Sen. Bill Cassidy says a COVID-19 related immunity registry could help put people back to work

Updated: Apr. 6, 2020 at 5:57 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana thinks the federal government should create an “immunity registry” related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cassidy is a medical doctor and believes such a registry could help return people who have recovered from the dangerous virus to the nation’s workforce because it would be known who has beat the disease.

"And it's patterned after the immunization registries we currently use to document childhood vaccination,” Cassidy said.

He added that the proposed CDC registry would be HIPAA and other privacy law compliant.

"In the immune registry, if I'm the person who has been infected but has cleared the infection most likely I'm immune. If you document that, then I can get, if you will, an immunity certificate, that's what they call it in Germany, Italy, and Great Britain where they're also contemplating this. That would allow me to return to work without restrictions,” said Cassidy.

It is thought that once people recover from COVID-19, their bodies make antibodies to protect them from contracting it again soon.

Cassidy described out the antibodies work in relation to the coronavirus.

"Because those antibodies are what neutralizes the virus, the virus comes in, the antibody neutralizes it, boom it dies,” said Cassidy.

Still Cassidy concedes it is not 100 percent guaranteed that everyone who has recovered will never get the virus again.

"In healthcare, there's never a hundred percent certainty, we actually have to live with uncertainty but on the other hand the fact that people are saying let's take antibodies from people who have recovered from coronavirus and give it someone who's sick tells you that people think that this is the case,” Cassidy stated.

Cassidy remains concerned about the disease’s toll on Louisiana.

"I'm very concerned and even if things might be peaking in Southeast Louisiana they're growing across the state,” said Cassidy.

And he acknowledges it could be scary for healthcare workers who are coming into contact with COVID-19 patients.

“There’s going to be fear, absolutely, we have to support all of our first-line physicians, nurses, EMTs, PAs, MPs, you name it, we’ve got to support them, making sure they have enough personal protective equipment and everything else they need,” stated Cassidy.

And a White House official says as of April 1, FEMA has obligated $45.2 million in federal support to Louisiana for its response to the virus.

The official said the federal government has provided the following medical supplies to Louisiana:

· N-95 Masks – 208,300

· Surgical Masks – 494,800

· Face Shields – 101,980

· Surgical Gowns – 83,600

· Coveralls – 3,700

· Gloves – 483,300

· Ventilators – 150

· Medical Station Boots – 500

Governor John Bel Edwards said on Monday (April 6) that he believes the state could be starting to flatten the curve, in terms of the virus.

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