While the United States moves towards testing as many potential carriers as possible of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the next frontier will be back-testing for healthy antibodies in the blood of those who have recovered from the infection, as it is theorized that those antibodies could potentially be used as a treatment. To that end, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is partnering with 76ers owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer to establish a funding campaign to test the blood antibodies of frontline health workers in Philadelphia.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN had the report on Friday afternoon, which Embiid retweeted.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has partnered with Sixers owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer to establish a funding campaign for COVID-19 antibody testing for frontline healthcare workers through Penn Medicine, he told ESPN on Friday.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) April 3, 2020
According to the city of Philadelphia, as of Friday at 9 a.m., the Sixers’ hometown had 2,430 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as 26 deaths. Previously, Embiid donated $500,000 to help support folks in healthcare and pay workers at Wells Fargo Arena, where the Sixers play their home games.
This time around, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Embiid, Harris and Blitzer will put a combined $1.3 million into the fund to start. That should, hopefully, translate to a significant number of the tests that quickly analyze folks’ blood to determine whether they may have previously been infected by the coronavirus and have since healed.