Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania said Friday he tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus and will donate his blood plasma in a bid to help those who develop a severe case.
Mr. Casey, a Democrat, said he decided to get tested for antibodies after consulting with the Capitol’s attending physician, Brian Monahan.
“The results of this test revealed substantial levels of COVID-19 antibody in my blood, significantly more than the amount required to qualify me as a plasma donor,” he said.
Mr. Casey said he will make his first donation Friday in Taylor, Pennsylvania.
The senator said he can point to when he might have had the virus.
He experienced a low-grade fever and mild flu-like symptoms earlier this spring and quarantined for two weeks at home in Scranton. His wife wasn’t home during his quarantine, he said, because she was with their eldest daughter and son-in-law, who were expecting their first child.
“In consultation with my doctor, I chose not to seek medical care because my symptoms were relatively mild and manageable,” Mr. Casey said. “My fever went away on its own by mid-April, and it was never recommended that I be tested for the virus. I was able to work during my illness, remotely engaging with constituents and staff and keeping a full schedule.”
Mr. Casey is the second U.S. senator to report antibodies to the virus.
Sen. Tim Kaine, Virginia Democrat, on Thursday said he and his wife tested positive for them after experiencing symptoms in March.
Both senators took what’s often known as a “serological” test, which checks for evidence of an immune response after a previous infection. The antibodies should provide some protection against future infection, though the coronavirus is newly discovered in humans and experts are still studying the issue.
President Trump frequently lauds the number of COVID-19 survivors who’ve opted to donate their plasma to help others, saying it’s often the first thing they bring up after recovering.