Sen. Bill Cassidy is pitching the idea of an “immunity registry” amid the coronavirus outbreak to document people no longer believed to be at risk of infection.
“If we think about the coronavirus, we strongly suspect that once somebody has been infected, they are now immune,” Mr. Cassidy, Louisiana Republican, said Saturday on CNN. “That immunity would allow them to return to work — if they’re a nurse, to go in without [protective equipment] to see a routine patient with coronavirus infection.”
He said there’s a similar system currently in place for vaccinations in children, for example.
“We need this information. It [would] allow people to return to work, to be comfortable that they won’t get infected if they go to the grocery store, etcetera,” Mr. Cassidy said.
Mr. Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, said the presence of antibodies doesn’t necessarily mean a person won’t get infected again, but that the evidence seems to be pointing in that direction.
He said a system can be developed that abides by medical privacy laws and where neighbors aren’t able to snoop on one another to try to figure out who has been infected.
He acknowledged there would be a certain degree of uncertainty involved.
“But if we wait for absolute certainty, our economy’s going to be in the tank,” he said.
Louisiana has been one of the hardest-hit states amid the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 10,290 cases and at least 370 deaths among the state’s 4.6 million residents.
There are more than 278,400 cases and more than 7,100 coronavirus-related deaths in the United States, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.