MURRAY, Utah (ABC4) — Governor Cox donated blood today at Red Cross to encourage all Utahns to “join him and donate blood,” a press release states.

The Red Cross has been facing a significant deficit of blood donations, more than 25,000 donations short of what is needed to meet patient demand. As the organization supplies around 40% of the nation’s blood, it requires about 12,500 blood and 3,000 platelet donations daily to fulfill the demand, the press release states.

During the summer months, blood donations tend to decrease due to vacations, travel, and other seasonal activities, the press release states. This decline in donations can strain the blood supply and create potential challenges for patients in need.

According to Keith Paul, Regional Communication Director for American Red Cross Utah, this potentially impacts the lives of trauma victims, transplant recipients, and individuals battling cancer.

“This year’s decline in donations can strain the supply, meaning hospitals might not have what they need to save lives. And remember that any one of us – or our loved ones, neighbors, friends – may experience an accident or illness requiring a lifesaving transfusion,” Jeremiah Lafranca, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Utah Greater Salt Lake Chapter said. “But in the United States, where approximately 62% of the population is eligible to donate, only about 3% actually does.”

Governor Cox donated blood around 11 a.m. in the Murray Red Cross. During his donation, Cox said, “We’re here at the Red Cross donating blood today, but unfortunately we are about 25,000 units short in the State of Utah right now. We need more people to come and donate.”

Cox said anybody who is eligible can donate by going to the website, and finding a time to come in and donate. “It is a desperate time and we need all the help we can get right now,” Cox said.