481 Candles: Nurses Demands After Conditions at White House
Health care workers held a vigil across from the White House Thursday night, lighting 481 candles, saying each represented the life of a nurse lost to COVID.
Activists recited poems and told personal stories, claiming the nurses’ deaths were preventable and demanding workplace covid safety protections from both the government and the for-profit foundations of the hospitals they serve.
“When our workplaces aren’t safe, nurses leaves, nurses get sick. And as these candles demonstrate, nurses die,” Julia Truelove, an intensive care unit registered nurse in Washington, D.C., told ABC News. “We’re here to say there is no nursing shortage, there is a shortage of workers willing to work under these nightmarish conditions.”
“We’re advocating for two main actions the federal government needs to take to help us be safe at work,” Truelove said..
“The CDC is now telling us that if we’re COVID positive we can come back to work no problem. That’s unsafe for nurses, it’s unsafe for our patients, it’s unsafe for our coworkers,” she said.