@K_JeanPierre / Twitter Wow Look at the Capitol building 1587157514.jpg...
@K_JeanPierre / Twitter

One thousand signs reading “Get Us PPE” were displayed on the West Lawn on the U.S. Capitol building Friday as healthcare workers across the country continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic without sufficient personal protective equipment, including masks, gowns, and gloves.

MoveOn.org led the effort to set up the signs, each of which the group said represented 18,000 healthcare workers. The signs add up to 18 million doctors, nurses, home health aides, and other essential frontline workers who the group says need personal protective equipment (PPE) immediately.

“We’re demanding that the Trump administration and the government provide them with the resources they need to protect us from the spread of COVID-19,” a campaigner for the group said in a video posted to social media.

As of Friday, more than 9,000 healthcare workers have contracted the coronavirus while treating patients in emergency rooms and hospitals. According to the CDC, 27 healthcare workers have died of the coronavirus in the U.S., but The Guardian reported this week that government officials are likely undercounting people in healthcare settings—including janitors, aides, and paramedics as well as doctors and nurses—who have died of the disease.

Healthcare workers across the country have reported shortages of equipment. Earlier this month, nurses at hospitals owned by HCA Healthcare, the wealthiest for-profit hospital operator in the U.S., held protests to demand their employer provide them with PPE.

As MoveOn planted the signs at the Capitol on Friday, healthcare workers used the hashtag #GetUsPPE to share the experiences with shortages on social media.

In Santa Monica, California, 10 nurses at Providence St. John’s Health Center were reportedly suspended last week for refusing to treat COVID-19 patients unless the hospital provided them with N95 masks. The nurses demanded the equipment after one of their colleagues contracted the coronavirus.

The Trump administration and Congress, said MoveOn, must take swift action to ensure healthcare workers no longer have to choose between treating patients and potentially exposing themselves and their communities to the illness.

“There’s absolutely no reason why our frontline healthcare workers, in the middle of a pandemic, shouldn’t have access to masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment,” tweeted MoveOn.

Joining medical groups including the American Osteopathic Association, which issued a demand to Congress for sufficient PPE last month, MoveOn is calling on lawmakers to take action as President Donald Trump has impeded efforts to distribute medical equipment in recent weeks. Congress could potentially require the president to fully use his power to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA), ordering manufacturers to drastically step up productionof masks, ventilators, and other supplies.

Instead, Trump has thus far limited his use of the DPA, ordering two companies to produce only about 55 million protective masks and moving to make sure equipment is not shipped overseas.

“Healthcare workers across the country are working hard to save lives, but the Trump administration hasn’t stepped up to guarantee the equipment they need to keep themselves safe,” tweeted MoveOn.

Liked it? Take a second to support Associate Editor on Patreon!

This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I think frontline medical workers should go on strike. If our prez does not card about Corona and wants to reopen the country, why should docs/nurses /etc. keep risking their lives for no protection, no equipment and more patients, more deaths. Hospital workers are not the military. No one cares if you get Corona and die. No one is compensating you or your family when you die. It is a business. The government does not care about American lives. We all need to get to November to remove and imprison our oppressors.

  2. Their PPE is in China, South Korea and Russia and in the basement of the White House. For use by tRump, his family and friends only.

  3. They need to put up a tombstone for every person in America that dies. In fact, we need a wall put up to remind politicians about what happens when they are stupid.

  4. The government cannot afford PPES but ruth kris restraint got millions of dollars . Who will take care of the patients when our doctors and nurses get the virus or are just too exhausted to continue.
    There will be no-one to go to restraints when this is over.
    Corruption is the new form of governing and the Republicans lead the way.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here