Trump Administration Considering Issuing ‘Immunity Cards’ To Recovered Coronavirus Patients
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday the administration is considering issuing immunity cards to people with high levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus.
“You know, that’s possible,” Fauci told CNN’s New Day, when asked about the potential of implementing an identification program. Similar programs have already taken off in Germany and China.
“I mean, it’s one of those things that we talk about when we want to make sure that we know who the vulnerable people are and not,” he said. “This is something that’s being discussed. I think it might actually have some merit, under certain circumstances.”
For this to be a viable option, antibody tests would have to become widely available, Fauci said.
“Within a period of a week or so, we’re going to have a rather large number of tests that are available” to the public, Fauci said.
Antibody tests show if a person had been infected but has since recovered, potentially allowing them to go back to work and help reinvigorate the stalled economy.
Widespread antibody testing is also necessary for convalescent plasma therapy, a century-old treatment of transfusing blood from a recovered patient into a sick one that has shown potential for COVID-19 treatment.
But Fauci hopes the antibody tests will help the country reopen.
“As we look forward, as we get to the point of at least considering opening up the country, as it were, it’s very important to appreciate and to understand how much that virus has penetrated the society,” Fauci said.
German researchers have already begun implementing immunity certificates, and the idea has gained some traction in both the United Kingdom and Italy. In parts of China, citizens are required to displayed colored classifications on their phones which indicate their contagion risk.