National Nurses United held a vigil in front of President Donald Trump's White House on Thursday, a remembrance for 88 nurses—represented by solemn rows of empty whites shoes—who have died so far from the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to rage across the U.S. amid the president's continued mismanagement.
"Who will care for our patients when we get sick?" tweeted NNU executive director Bonnie Castillo.
— Bonnie Castillo (@NNUBonnie) May 7, 2020
The demonstrators used 88 empty pairs of shoes to represent the fallen nurses in what Castillo termed a "moving and powerful protest."
"It's a matter of life and death," she said.
Nurses from National Nurses United protest for PPE in front of the White House with 88 pairs of shoes representing each nurse who has died from coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/ZXxPqqn6eE
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 7, 2020
As Common Dreams has reported, pleas from healthcare workers for personal protective equipment (PPE) and aid have largely gone unanswered as the outbreak continues to spread around the nation.
In a press release issued Thursday, NNU demanded that Congress and the White House prioritize frontline workers in the next stage of coronavirus legislation.
"The next Covid-19 relief package is being discussed and finalized, and we are demanding that senators include critical protections to keep nurses safe in the bill," the group said.
Watch video of the demonstration:
HAPPENING NOW: Nurses are outside the White House decrying PPE shortages & reading the names of 88 nurses who have died from COVID-19. The RNs, from @NationalNurses, are also placing down a symbolic pair of shoes for each nurse who was lost. https://t.co/ewdEjL1qkW
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 7, 2020