Steelworkers join call to protect health care workers’ rights amidst COVID-19

The United Steelworkers joined more than 50 labor and social service organizations in a letter to the American Hospital Association (AHA) denouncing health care administrator attempts to discipline or prevent front-line caregivers from speaking out about working conditions, patient loads, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortages.

“We were appalled to read recent media reports about hospital administrators across the U.S. muzzling doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals with threats of disciplinary action for speaking out about coronavirus patient caseloads and dwindling hospital supplies needed to care for such patients,” the statement reads.

The letter, sent to the AHA on March 26, states the critical need for public and local, state, and federal government officials to fully comprehend the scope of PPE shortages, mechanical ventilators, intensive care unit beds, and other medical supplies.

“Attempts to cover up these shortages by muzzling health care workers who are on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic are reprehensible and reckless and endanger public health,” it reads. “Although such actions may be commonplace in countries with authoritarian regimes, they are not acceptable in the U.S.”

To read the full letter, click here.

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