A day after social media ripped into Donald Trump for dismissing a New Orleans nurse’s claims that PPE was not being sufficiently distributed in Louisiana hospitals, a group of nurses has taken to the White House to protest for protective equipment. Along with the roughly 20 health care workers appeared 88 pairs of shoes, representing nurses who died from the novel coronavirus.
NBC News was on the scene for the demonstration that took place on Thursday morning. A front woman for National Nurses United, the nation’s largest nurses union, aired the concerns of so many frontline workers frustrated by the administration’s response to the health outbreak that has claimed more than 74,000 lives across the United States.
“They were committed to protecting others from the ravages of illness and being that voice that advocated for their patients, but who was there protecting these nurses?” Stephanie Sims, an RN, questioned. “How many of these nurses worked in the hospitals that were long on patients but short on N95 respirators? How many of these nurses were failed by chaotic and haphazard protocols that left them vulnerable to exposure and illness? How many of these nurses die because this administration, this Congress, our elected officials, our government agencies, failed to act, to lead and to protect them?”
“We stand here today, our hearts full of pain, but also with determination and demanding action,” Sims concluded. “It is past time for this president and Congress to act.” Along with Yuhana Gidey, also an RN, Sims read aloud the names of the 88 colleagues who have lost their lives to the coronavirus.
Fox 5 DC reports that the nurses union also held a rally last month to address the administration’s haphazard response to the current health pandemic. Thursday’s rally comes on the heels of National Nurses Day and within National Nurses Week. It also comes a day after Bloomberg reported that Sophia Thomas, a nurse from New Orleans, raised concerns over the lack of PPE, calling the distribution “sporadic but manageable.” Trump dismissed her comment saying, “sporadic for you” before praising himself for the job his administration has done in obtaining PPE.