Nurse-Nancy-Rudner-Lugo Nurse Nancy Rudner Lugo is one of over 700 nurses who denounce how Trump has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image via Nancy Rudner Lugo

As nurses, we are outraged by Trump’s COVID-19 misinformation campaign. It will not magically just go away, as he said. It is killing us.

Nurses care for people, families, and populations, with science and with heart.  We advocate for everyone’s health. We know that health is political and that leadership matters. That is why last week, I joined 700 other nurses endorsing Joe Biden for president in a national letter published in Newsweek. Trump is hurting us. Biden has realistic plans for the nation and all of us.  

As nurses, we decry Trump’s mismanagement of COVID-19, which disproportionately affects Latinos. We mourn the over 200,000 lives—disproportionately Hispanic—taken by COVID because Trump refuses science and public health expertise that could control the pandemic. After almost a year of COVID, Trump still has no plan and no empathy.

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Trump withdrew the United States from the World Health Organization, just when we needed international collaboration to fight this plague. Biden knows the pain of losing loved ones and he has a plan to use the exceptional talent of the US and science to control COVID, as many other countries have done.  

As nurses, we have cared for patients with COVID gasping for air, suffering prolonged lung and heart damage, or unable to work again. We have provided care to those in need but with great risk because many health care workers still do not have adequate protective gear (PPE). We have a national shortage of PPE, the consequence of no national plan. 

Over 1,700 healthcare workers have died of COVID. Instead of showing leadership to secure PPE for the nation, Trump left hospitals and states to compete against one another on the global market. Nurses and families were the losers, because Trump had no plan. Biden has laid out his strategy to get PPE. 

RELATED: Black, Latino Children Are Dying of COVID at Higher Rates. These Doctors Say Medicaid Expansion Can Help.

As nurses, we are outraged by Trump’s COVID misinformation campaign. It will not magically just go away, as he said. It is not a minor problem. It is killing us. We are appalled at how he puts others in harm’s way, for his joyride from the hospital to wave to fans or his refusal to wear a mask, even when he knew he was contagious. 

As nurses, we have seen how Trump’s attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would leave more families—disproportionately Latino—without insurance and without care, in the midst of the pandemic, economic meltdown, and skyrocketing unemployment. 

We have heard his promises to have a new health plan for the past four years, but it is just talk.  Biden supports expanding access to health insurance for working families, building on the ACA. 

We have seen refugees fleeing violence and famine, families torn apart, caged children, and rampant COVID exposure in detention centers, even though the US signed international agreements to help refugees and safeguard human rights.

Scapegoating Latinos for crimes and job losses while spewing anti-immigrant venom puts all Latinos at risk—and it is not what America is about. Biden knows immigrants helped build this country. 

As nurses, we have seen too many Black and brown lives destroyed by “law and order” police not trained to respect all lives. As nurses, we have seen the damage of systemic racism and we have protested. Trump’s orders for military troops to attack peaceful protests and his dog whistles to white supremacists undermine our democracy. Trump makes all of us vulnerable. 

We need leadership that unites, not divides us. We need a president for all of us, not just for his base.  Biden can bring us together. Biden can rebuild the economy, create good jobs and support small businesses. Biden understands that family is important. Biden understands that diversity is America’s strength. Together we can be a strong United States for all. 

Nancy Rudner Lugo wearing PPE. Image via Nancy Rudner Lugo.