Kamala Harris called a nurse on the frontlines in Chicago to thank her

A post shared by Kamala Harris (@kamalaharris)

Over 267,000 Americans have died from the Coronavirus due to the incompetence of the Trump administration and Senate Republicans. Thanks to an overwhelming infection rate across the country, not only are PPE still in short supply, so are nurses. Many nurses are finding themselves overworked and under-protected as they battle on the frontlines of this pandemic. Nurses are getting hit the hardest with the highest infection rates amongst healthcare workers. As if this isn’t bad enough, there is also a COVID nursing shortage. In some parts of the U.S. COVID nurses are able to command upward of $8k a week in salary due to the nursing shortage as well.

Since we owe sincere gratitude to nurses who are the unsung heroes of the pandemic, VP elect Kamala Harris decided to call one on Thanksgiving to thank her for her hard work. Kamala posted a clip of her conversation with Talisa Hardin, a registered nurse at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Talisa testified in the House Oversight Committee in May against her employer because they were not supplying nurses and hospital staff with the proper PPE at the height of the pandemic. Below are a few excerpts via CNN:

“I know it’s personal for you, and I know that it requires mental and emotional and physical and spiritual energy and power that you give to it, so thank you,” Harris can be heard telling Talisa Hardin in a video Bonnie Castillo, executive director of National Nurses United (NNU), posted to Facebook.

Harris reportedly also spoke to Hardin about the Defense Production Act, a 1950 law that could expedite the process of giving more resources and supplies to medical staff on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic, Castillo said.

A NNU representative told CNN that the phone call lasted 15 minutes, during which Hardin spoke more about her time as a nurse.

“Talisa [Hardin] talked about how she and other nurses had to buy their own PPE because the hospital didn’t provide what they needed,” NNU wrote in a statement to CNN. “And Talisa [Hardin] said how this was disgraceful because you wouldn’t send a soldier into battle without gear.”

Hardin’s mother and uncle have both contracted Covid-19, with her uncle currently in the hospital.
Hardin, who is a registered nurse at the University of Chicago Medical Center, previously testified to the House Oversight Committee in May on behalf of the medical center and NNU, the union that she’s a part of.

“The percentage of patients under investigation who eventually test positive for the virus is very high, but our hospital management has consistently refused to give nurses in my unit the protections that we need to avoid exposure and infection,” Hardin said, according to written testimony.

[From CNN]

Talisa wasn’t Kamala’s only call. Kamala also called Tyler Gordon, the teen whose portraits of Kamala and Joe went viral on social media. Kamala’s husband, Doug Emhoff, also called Juan Anchondo, a registered nurse in El Paso, TX to thank him for his work as a frontline worker.

Kamala making this call makes these nurses and healthcare workers feel seen. Especially since Trump and the Republican Party have been so callous in their handling of the pandemic and their dismissal of the seriousness of this virus. Saying that I am angry that Iris Meda, the seventy year old nurse who came out of retirement to train nurses died from COVID, is an understatement. Knowing that the majority of the casualties of this pandemic could have been avoided if we had better leadership and people who actually cared is infuriating.

I am looking forward to a Biden/Harris presidency. I know that these small gestures will continue after they take office. I do hope that with help of scientists and infectious disease experts they will be able to get this virus under control. These nurses, other healthcare professionals and frontline workers deserve to have their contributions and lives taken seriously. I want to sincerely thank our healthcare and frontline workers for their service.

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A post shared by Kamala Harris (@kamalaharris)

A post shared by Official Tyler Gordon (@official_tylergordon)

A post shared by Kamala Harris (@kamalaharris)

photos credit: Avalon.red and via Instagram

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