On Wednesday, Donald Trump held an event at the White House honoring nurses on National Nurse Day. During the event, Trump contradicted a nurse insisting that her statement about the shortage of personal protective gear was not correct.
After a reporter asked the nurses if their PPE supplies were where they needed them to be during the coronavirus pandemic. Nurse Sophia L. Thomas spoke up and stated that the supplies of PPE were “sporadic.”
Many of the nurses in attendance nodded in agreement with what Thomas stated.
“I think it’s sporadic,” Sophia L. Thomas, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. replied “I mean, I talk to my colleagues around the country. Certainly, there are pockets around the country where PPE is not ideal, but this is an unprecedented time.”
Thomas works at a community health center located in New Orleans. She shared that her youngest Covid-19 patient was 4 days old.
“The infection control measures that we learned back when we went to school, one gown and one mask for one patient per day — this is a different time,” she said.
Thomas then stated that she has been reusing a single N95 mask for “a few weeks now.”
“PPE has been sporadic, but it’s been manageable. And we do what we have to do,” Thomas stated. “We are nurses and we learn to adapt and do whatever we can do for our patients to get the job done and the care provided, and that’s what we will continue to do as Covid-19 continues.”
Despite the fact that Thomas shared first- hand experience Trump then spoke up and contradicted her.
“Sporadic for you but not sporadic for a lot of other people,” Trump told her.
“Because I’ve heard the opposite,” Trump said. “I have heard that they are loaded up with gowns now. We had empty shelves and empty nothing because it wasn’t put there by the last administration.”
Health workers across the nation continue to report shortages of PPE as the virus has swept across the country. The White House has worked to facilitate ramped-up production of PPE items such as masks and gowns but has yet to keep up with the demand.
You can view the exchange below.