Trump’s Ineffective Pandemic Response Has Put Frontline Workers at Risk

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As nearly 1,000 Americans die every day and Donald Trump has once again decided it’s in his political interest to pretend as if the country is not in the midst of a pandemic, Florida’s frontline workers continue to bear the brunt of this president’s mismanagement.
Donald Trump’s broken promises on the coronavirus pandemic has failed to provide adequate resources to frontline workers 

  • Florida’s response was hindered by the Trump administration’s early testing failures. Months later, there’s still no national testing strategy in place.
  • Trump wasted months by failing to ramp up medical supplies needed to keep health care workers and patients safe. As a result, many nursing homes and hospitals in Florida and across the country still don’t have the personal protective equipment they need.
  • Trump ignored a 69 page National Security Council playbook that said the Administration should have begun procuring personal protective equipment in January.
  • As the virus spread in late March, Trump declared that states “have to get that gear themselves.”
  • President Trump’s sparing use of the Defense Production Act has left frontline workers struggling to protect themselves throughout the pandemic.
  • A July 10 administration briefing noted that states had only received a fraction of the PPE requested to fight the pandemic

Frontline workers have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic 

  • Miami Herald: “More U.S. police officers have died of the coronavirus so far in 2020 than in car crashes, shootings and all other causes combined, data show.”
  • CBS 4 Miami: “‘Everybody Should See This Pain’: On The Frontlines With ICU Nurses In Jackson Memorial Hospital’s COVID Unit’
  • Miami Herald:“Some 30 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Miami VA hospital during the past week — the largest outbreak at the facility since the start of the pandemic — a spokesman said Wednesday.” [June 18] 
  • The Guardian: “Over 1,000 US health workers died of Covid-19. Many were immigrants and minorities”

For months, Florida’s health care workers lacked proper protective equipment
SOUTH FLORIDA: NBC Miami: ‘South Florida nurses joined in a nationwide protest Wednesday morning calling for more protection on the job in their battle with the coronavirus pandemic.” [August 5] 
Sun Sentinel: “South Florida hospitals facing shortages of critical supplies for coronavirus patients” [July 14] 
WUSF: “‘PPE shortages are real. We’re not being provided with everything we need to be caring for these patients,’ said Alicia Ciliezar, a registered nurse from Miami-Dade County. ‘I would welcome any figure in leadership right now to take a tour of the intensive care unit, and then tell me whether or not if it should be a discussion — masks should be mandated right now.’” [July 24] 
CENTRAL FLORIDAOrlando Weekly: “Central Florida nurses are fighting the pandemic with very little personal protection”  [April 8]
Orlando Sentinel: “Orlando area nurses and health-care workers at HCA Healthcare hospitals are raising concerns about lack of personal protective equipment as the company reports $1.1 billion in net income in April, May and June, including $822 million from the CARES Act.” [July 31]
ST. LUCIE COUNTYWPBF News: “‘We don’t have gowns, we don’t have face shields, all they do is give us this paper mask, most of us don’t even have the N95 that is supposed to protect our mouths,’ said [Eudineka] St. Louis [nurse at Fort Pierce Health Care]. ‘We don’t even have the proper gowns, all we have is the gowns that the patients use to go to bed, it doesn’t even protect the arms or anything. We are not protected.’” [July 16] 
PINELLAS COUNTYTampa Bay Times: “Nurses for HCA Healthcare are raising concerns about unsafe working conditions at three Pinellas County hospitals, alleging the company has not provided adequate staffing or protective equipment through the coronavirus pandemic.” [July 15]
MANATEE COUNTYBradenton Herald: “Nurses complained about the lack of protective gear in an environment where they aren’t even being told who may be COVID-19 positive. The hospital has since told all staff to wear masks, but they are surgical masks, which nurses say do not protect them from the coronavirus.” [April 2] 

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