March 27, 2020

DAYTON, Ohio - Eight months after the Oregon District shooting Ohio Sen. Rob Portman returned to Community Blood Center Friday, March 27 to donate blood again in the face of a very different crisis.

"I've been hearing about the need for more donors because the mobile units that would normally go to a school, normally go to a church, high schools, college campuses, aren't able to do  that now," said Portman as he donated. "We need more blood in the blood supply. My hope is that by me coming down and giving blood others will see that and feel comfortable in doing it as well."

Portman came directly from Gov. Mike DeWine's daily news conference in Columbus to CBC and was the last donor of the day.  His first visit was when he joined Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Rep. Tim Ryan in donating at CBC Aug. 5 out of compassion for the victims of the Oregon District shooting.

"I will say I am impressed by the social distancing here they've moved the beds apart since the last time I was here," he said. "Everything is wiped down immediately after somebody gives blood. There's a lot of Purell around, and everything is wiped down including the stylus you use to sign in. CBC is being very safe, which is important also."

Portman spoke with reporters about the mammoth economic relief package he helped pass in congress and outlined ways it will help families and small businesses. He recognized that blood drives continue to be essential for the public health and that people should not be afraid to donate.

"There are so few things can do to respond to this crisis," he said. "This coronavirus is different from what happened in the Oregon District, even 9/11 and really even the financial crisis back in '08 and '09. This is pervasive, it's everywhere and yet a lot of people feel helpless to do something, so giving blood is one way you can contribute."