Every day, nurses and healthcare workers are being sent into battle without armor. And while we’ve been forcefully demanding help from New York State, COVID-19 has become a full-scale national emergency.
This week our union is launching a major push to demand that President Trump come to New York and see for himself the conditions we are working under. We demand that he take immediate action to protect healthcare workers:
- Unleash the Defense Production Act: President Trump has the power under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to order manufacturers to immediately begin mass producing PPE, ventilators, tests, and other much-needed medical equipment and supplies. What is he waiting for?
- Commandeer and Collect PPE Stockpiles: The DPA also gives President Trump and the Feds the authority to commandeer PPE stockpiles in other industries like construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing. Add all existing PPE to the federal stockpiles and get supplies to hard-hit areas now!
- Safeguard Workers on the Frontlines: President Trump and Congress must protect healthcare workers who are reporting for duty every day to fight this pandemic. We need a strong OSHA safety standard, unlimited sick time, disability protections, and other measures.
- Widespread testing: Unrationed testing must be in every community so we can track and slow the spread of COVID-19. We need guaranteed, rapid-result testing for all healthcare workers, starting with those displaying symptoms. COVID-positive healthcare workers must be quarantined for the recommended two-week period.
NYSNA leaders like you are helping to amplify our message. The first step is to educate yourself and your members about the Defense Production Act. Download the campaign flyer and Frequently Asked Questions. We need every member to know what it’s going to take to protect us.
Most important: Can you share your COVID-19 story on social media to get us PPE?
Take a selfie video: Explain what conditions are truly like on the frontlines. Try and shoot your video at work, maybe when you’re starting or ending your shift. We want to show everyone what PPE you’re working with, but remember, no patients in the background and no violating HIPAA! Shorter videos work better (stick to 30 seconds or less). Need ideas for your video? Get our tip sheet here.
Share your story: Share your selfie video on social media and tag @nynurses so we can boost your post. Use the hashtag #GetMePPE. If you’re not active on social media, you can share your video or photos with us by uploading to this link.
Pat Kane, RN