Healthcare workers usually bear the brunt of an epidemic. Doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are in constant contact with people who may be infected. The cruel math of such potential exposures, multiplied over and over, inevitably takes a toll.
Covid-19 is no exception. Lost on the Frontline , a new database from the Guardian and Kaiser Health News, shows that more than 900 American healthcare workers have already paid the ultimate price in the battle against coronavirus.
What makes the deaths of these men and women especially painful is that many of them could have been prevented. Although America has applauded health workers, banged pots in their honor and offered grateful video tributes, we have consistently failed them where it mattered most.
This failure starts with a lack of adequate protective gear – essentials like masks, gloves, gowns and protective shields. Countless healthcare workers have had to reuse masks day after day. In some cases nurses were forced to wear garbage bags in lieu of actual protective equipment.
President Trump abandoned state governments and hospitals to meet critical gaps in protection for healthcare workers with little help from Washington. He also refused to use his power under the Defense Production Act – […]
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