ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority has rejected an application for a $2.5 million loan to the Blood Bank of Alaska.
Officials at the organization that supplies blood to hospitals and clinics across Alaska say the failure to obtain the funding puts it in dire need of financial help, The Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.
The nonprofit blood bank has an existing loan with the state-owned investment organization and requested more funds and a nine-month pause on payments.
The development and export authority’s board of directors granted the blood bank a six-month pause but no additional money during a special meeting Friday.
Blood bank CEO Robert Scanlon said more than half of the organization’s operating revenue comes from blood used in elective surgeries.
Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy canceled elective surgeries statewide in an order to preserve medical equipment during the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
As a result of Dunleavy’s order, “with a stroke of a pen, 50% or more of our revenue on a month-to-month basis just evaporated,” Scanlon said.
To continue operating, the blood bank asked the authority for the $2.5 million credit line.
The authority said in a written statement it is “consulting with legal advisers on whether the proposed use of funds in this case is allowable under its current statutes.”
Scanlon is appealing to Dunleavy and the authority board, he said.
“We’re critical to health care, and we need to be recognized as such, and we’re hopeful that the governor will just make that clear to (the authority) that we’re critical infrastructure,” Scanlon said.