On Wednesday, Protect Our Care hosted a press call with Senator Bob Casey, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry as well as Michigan State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud and medical workers on the front lines of fighting coronavirus. Coverage from outlets in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin highlighted the dire calls from the lawmakers and health care workers for the Trump administration to step up and give those on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis the supplies they need. Also on the call, Protect Our Care unveiled new ads that are running in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin which criticize President Trump for failing to prepare Americans for the threat of coronavirus.
Coverage from Protect Our Care’s Press Call:
PA Capital-Star: Trump Admin Failing ‘Soldiers’ on COVID-19 Front Lines, Pa.’s Casey Says. “The Trump administration is failing to properly protect the health care workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey told reporters Wednesday. “These brave soldiers heading into battle — hour after hour, day after day, now week after week — without the protective equipment that they need is not only embarrassing, it is very, very dangerous and it’s not in any way consistent with our values,” Casey said. “These frontline health care workers need a lot more help. The administration has a lot of explaining to do and should mobilize today to make sure they can get this done.” Health care workers across the country have reported dangerous shortages of personal protective equipment as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread. Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, said on the press call Wednesday that caregivers across the country are “working without sufficient personal protective equipment.” She called on the government to “immediately and for the duration of the crisis, procure, produce and provide ample personal protective equipment to health care workers.” [PA Capital-Star, 4/1/20]
Michigan Advance: Fear and Exhaustion in Detroit, State’s COVID-19 ‘Epicenter.’ “Moore and Henry were among those who spoke on the conference call hosted Wednesday by Protect Our Care, an advocacy group that’s running ads against President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus in critical swing states: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn), an epidemiologist who also joined the call, said he’s been receiving two principal types of phone calls from his constituents lately. “One is those looking for unemployment support, and the second are those seeking [personal protective equipment (PPE)] who are on the front lines or for their family members or friends on the front lines.” On Tuesday, he received an email from a mother who reached out on behalf of her daughter, an emergency room physician at a Michigan hospital who is ‘not equipped with any of the PPE she needs to protect herself so that she can fully assist others without fear for her own life and without fear for putting her family at risk for when she is exposed, only a matter of when.’” [Michigan Advance, 4/1/20]
CBS 21 Harrisburg: Healthcare Workers Join Sen. Casey to Address Concerns Over Their Working Conditions. “Sen. Bob Casey joined forces with the Protect Our Care Organization on Wednesday to bring awareness to some of those conditions. Many say they are battling the coronavirus outbreak without enough ventilators, masks or protective gear. “Let’s make no mistake. We are at war; at war with this virus that has disseminated not only our public health infrastructure, but also our economy for years to come, and it is time that we utilize each and every single tool we have, and that means using the DPA [Defense Production Act] to meet the demands and help our workers on the front lines,” Casey said. Many healthcare workers added that they do not believe the current statewide and national response has been enough.” [CBS 21, 4/1/20]
Philadelphia Tribune: Health Care Workers, Union Leaders, Elected Officials Call for Increased Production of Masks and Other Personal Protective Equipment. “Tinae Moore, an emergency room technician, highlighted the challenges of working at Detroit Medical Center during this crisis. “In the past few weeks, our ER staff has been cut in half,” said Moore, who had to be quarantined after showing symptoms of COVID-19. “Due to not having proper PPE, a lot of us are getting sick. “A few days after the pandemic started, my hospital management took all of the PPE available to the staff members off the shelves where it was normally located and locked it away and we were only dispersed minimal protection at a time.” [Philadelphia Tribune, 4/1/20]
Wisconsin Examiner: Health Care Workers Scrap Old Routines, Confront New Risks. “On a media call Wednesday morning organized by Protect Our Care, a Washington, D.C., organization that has campaigned to preserve and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, Joe McGinn, a Madison emergency room nurse, echoed support for that approach. “Every day we’re coming up with our own contingency plans to prepare for the days and weeks ahead,” said McGinn, an SEIU member, He credited the union with being able to engage in “difficult conversations with employers” about the need for PPE that non-union employees might not be able to.” [Wisconsin Examiner, 4/2/20]
Daily Item (PA): Casey, Union President: Health Care Workers Need Help. “The dire need for providing health care workers with more ventilators, masks and other personal protective equipment that are vital on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis was the subject of a Wednesday morning conference call attended by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry. Front-line health care workers need help, Casey began, ‘and the Trump administration has a lot of explaining to do. These brave soldiers, heading into battle, hour after hour, day after day, and now week after week without the protective equipment that they need is not only embarrassing, but it is very dangerous. It is not in any way consistent with our values.’” [Daily Item, 4/1/20]