Thursday, April 2, 2020

Support the Nurses

National Nurses United 

As politicians grandstand on television, promising time and again that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is on the way, there is one question on far too many nurses’ minds: “Where is it? Where is the PPE?”
Too many nurses and other health care workers are still going without the equipment we desperately need to protect ourselves and our patients from COVID-19.
That means those of us on the front lines of this crisis are going to work every day wondering when we’ll contract the virus, when we’ll pass it to a patient, or when we’ll bring it home to our families. We have been sounding the alarm since January. We cannot continue to wait for PPE. All of our lives are on the line.
Help us make even more noise: Tell the White House that we cannot delay any further — use the Defense Production Act to get PPE to nurses NOW.
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On Friday of last week, President Trump used the Defense Production Act of 1950 to order ventilators from General Motors needed for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. It’s a step in the right direction, but as one nurse recently put it: "Without this PPE, we won’t need the ventilators, because none of us will be around to run them."
It is the responsibility of our employers to provide a safe workplace, including proper PPE, to all their staff. And it is up to our elected officials to make sure our government is doing everything in its power to dramatically expand production and distribution of the equipment we need to protect nurses, other health care workers, and our patients.
The Defense Production Act gives President Trump the authority to direct U.S. manufacturers to mass produce N95 respirators and other critical protective equipment for health care workers. But so far, he has refused to do so.
Please, demand that President Trump immediately exerciseuse his full authority under the Defense Production Act to ramp up production and rush supplies to nurses on the front lines of COVID-19.
We must make our voices impossible to ignore. All our lives depend on it.
In solidarity,
Deborah Burger, RN
Zenei Cortez, RN
Jean Ross, RN
Council of Presidents, National Nurses United

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