If you didn't know who Tricare was before this article, they are the insurance company that handles the US military and its health care systems.
Tricare recently sent out an email to over 600,000 beneficiaries informing them that they had tested positive to coronavirus, requesting blood plasma donations from these 600,000 survivors of COVID-19. Military.com reported about the email, saying that it went out to 600,000 members of the US military across 31 US states in Tricare's East Region.
At the time of writing, roughly 31,000 people throughout the Department of Defense -- this includes service members, family members, civilian employees and contractors, have been tested positive for COVID-19. So another 600,000 would be over 20 times that number, and is a gigantic mistake on Tricare's behalf.
The email from Humana Military reads: "As a survivor of COVID-19, it's safe to donate whole blood or blood plasma, and your donation could help other COVID-19 patients. Your plasma likely has antibodies (or proteins) present that might help fight the coronavirus infection. Currently, there is no cure for COVID-19. However, there is information that suggests plasma from COVID-19 survivors, like you, might help some patients recover more quickly from COVID-19".
The email continued:
"In an attempt to educate beneficiaries who live close to convalescent plasma donation centers about collection opportunities, you received an email incorrectly suggesting you were a COVID-19 survivor. You have not been identified as a COVID-19 survivor and we apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused".
Humana Military's head of corporate communications, Marvin Hill, said the company apologizes "for the confusion caused by the original message" which was sent to recipients based on their proximity to a plasma collection facility and not "on any medical information or diagnosis".
Hill continued: "Language used in email messages to approximately 600k beneficiaries gave the impression that we were attempting to reach only people who had tested positive for COVID-19. We quickly followed the initial email with a clear and accurate second message acknowledging this. We apologize".
"Just wondering [if] anybody [got] an email from Tricare saying since you are a COVID survivor, please donate your plasma.?? I have NOT been tested. Just remember all those people inputting data are human and make mistakes".
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