Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States is in need of a blood transfusion. On World Blood Donor Day, we thank those individuals who selflessly donate blood to help thousands of hospitals and medical care facilities meet the needs of their patients.

Over the past several months, the hardships of the coronavirus have lowered our country’s blood and platelet supply to critical levels, and the need to donate blood has never been more acute. With more than 30,000 blood drives canceled since mid-March, those battling severe illnesses or those involved in life-threatening accidents could be in particular danger of not being able to receive the vital care they need. Many of our Nation’s blood banks are operating with depleted stocks, and the majority of them rarely have on hand more than a single day’s supply of Type O blood, which is critical because it can be used to meet the blood needs of any patient. During this challenging time, let us commit to raising awareness of the lifesaving act of donating blood.

I urge all Americans who are healthy and willing to donate blood to do so at a local donation center. Organizations like the American Red Cross and other blood banks have implemented special protocols to protect donors from possible infection. Your blood donations can help minimize the harm inflicted by the coronavirus on our country.

Today, the First Lady and I send our sincerest gratitude to both blood donors and those countless individuals who help facilitate donations. These dedicated employees, extraordinary volunteers, and compassionate individuals represent the very best of the American spirit, and our Nation is grateful for your contributions to America’s health and well-being.