(Right Country) – You’ve probably heard the anecdotes.
It seems like everyone knows or knows someone who knows someone who has showed up to get tested for the coronavirus, only to leave the site after waiting for hours and later receive a letter that they tested positive…when they were never tested at all!
The same thing has now officially happened to 600,000 people who were falsely told by Tricare at the United States Department of Defense Military Health System that they were positive.
When they never got tested at all.
The email which was apparently sent by mistake said. “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.”
One of the recipients of this email posted on Facebook to see if anyone else had received it.
— American Military News (@AmerMilNews) July 23, 2020
“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,” they wrote.
Human Military “issued a call to blood donors located near military installations that are collecting plasma from recovered coronavirus patients, also known as convalescent plasma, as a potential treatment for the illness,” which instead went to every “beneficiary located near a collection point,” Military.com reported.
Just hours later, Human issued a formal apology, writing that “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.” The company added that “you have not been identified as a COVID-19 survivor and we apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused,” according to the report.
Corporate communications lead, Marvin Hill, also reportedly admitted to the error. He wrote that “as a part of an effort to educate military beneficiaries about convalescent plasma donation opportunities, Humana was asked to assist our partner, the Defense Health Agency.”
“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.”
The Daily Wire notes that this isn’t the first time such mass confusion has taken place. They also noted that “Nashville man Brock Ballou said he received at least three calls from the state regarding his apparent symptoms after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Mr. Ballou said he was never tested, however.”