Doctors Are Going Viral — & Getting Fired — For Discussing Coronavirus Safety Issues

Photo: Getty.
People all over the world, including those on the frontlines, are using social media to share how they're coping with the coronavirus crisis. We're discovering so much about medical personnel through their online stories. Mayo Clinic's Dr. Elvis L. Francois went viral for his heartfelt videos showing off his beautiful singing. Dr. Jason Campbell, a resident in Oregon, also went viral for his amazing TikTok dance clips. However, other tweets and YouTube videos that show doctors and nurses in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) are downright devastating. While hospitals don't seem to care about lighthearted social media posts, some are threatening those who speak out about the lack of equipment
It's no secret that doctors and nurses are contracting COVID-19. So, if they're not dying from the coronavirus or getting sick, some of them now risk losing their jobs for the mere reason of informing the public about the discrepancies of their medical institution. 
On March 27, Dr. Ming Lin at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, WA, gave an interview on YouTube in which he spoke about feeling that his staff was at risk because of inadequate PPE even though hospital officials claimed to have sufficient supplies.
"I do fear for my staff," Lin said in the video. "Morally, I think when you see something wrong, you have to speak out."
Yesterday, President Donald Trump reiterated in a White House briefing that state officials should be responsible for supplying their hospitals with PPE and other medical supplies. However, some hospitals, including in New York, are getting assistance from overseas or other states.  
Medical workers continue to publicly express that they're in dire need of supplies and how they're reusing PPE while attempting to be as safe as possible. 
Indiana emergency physician Dr. Stephen Sample tweeted that he and his staff put their masks in the oven and bake them at 175 degrees in order to kill the virus and reuse the masks.
Dr. Ania Ringwelski, an ER doctor at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, was asked to leave her post after bringing her own PPE gear from home, according to the New York Times
"I want to help out, but I need to feel protected," Dr. Ringwelski told the Times. "I'm not expecting the hospital to provide it in this time of shortage, but if I can procure it on my own, then I'd like to be able to wear it."
While many in the medical field have gone public about their hospital's shortages, those being fired for making such allegations are not speaking out publicly.
Some medical workers are sharing that they have had no choice but to quit for a variety of reasons, including lack of PPE. A nurse in Chicago posted a chilling Instagram video where she said she had to quit her job after hospital management told her she could not wear an N95 mask that she brought from her home even though they couldn't supply her with protective gear.
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I chose 𝓂𝓎 𝓁𝒾𝒻𝑒 today... ⠀ & my family members who have pre-existing conditions that wouldn’t get a ventilator if they contracted #COVID19 from me ⠀ I had a different idea in mind when I got to my #ICU this morning; I expected to see ALL OF OUR #NURSES & STAFF wearing #N95 masks but 𝙣𝙤 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝘼𝙉𝙔𝙏𝙃𝙄𝙉𝙂 𝙊𝙉... ⠀ Each ICU room had ‘make-shift’ ante-rooms attached to them created with plastic tarp & massive amounts of tape.. ⠀ A charge Nurse was passing out single N95 masks to nurses with a brown paper bag for them to store their mask in which was to be in inside their plastic ante-rooms & to 𝙗𝙚 𝙧𝙚-𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙧𝙚-𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙙𝙖𝙮... ⠀ I asked “well what if there’s possible contamination to that N95 mask..? What about my safety” ⠀ My manager told me “well our staff safety is our main priority right now ... if we get enough masks, we may consider having staff wear surgical masks in the weeks to come..” ⠀ I replied, “But it’s Airborne... those surgical masks won’t protect us ..” ⠀ My manager then tells me “ we’ve kept up with the CDC & it is only when the COVID patient has any aerosol type treatments like a ventilator, nasal cannula, nebulizer etc that’s it’s airborne..otherwise it’s droplet ..” ⠀ I replied “& 90% of our patients are intubated, paralyzed, & positive for COVID.. people not even in the hospital environment are spreading it .. we have to assume everyone is infected..especially in the hospital environment, & 𝕟𝕠 𝕠𝕟𝕖 𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕟 𝕙𝕒𝕤 𝕒 𝕕𝕣𝕠𝕡𝕝𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕒𝕤𝕜 𝕠𝕟” ⠀ I then told her of nurses wearing a surgical droplet masks on their units & now intubated & fighting for their lives ... ⠀ Tears were streaming down my face & fog in my glasses at this point.. ⠀ I thought to myself.. 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘣𝘶𝘺 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘮𝘺 𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘴..? ⠀ I asked one last time pleading with tears in my eyes.. ⠀ “Can I please just wear 𝐦𝐲 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐍𝟗𝟓 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤... I understand we have a shortage but I have my OWN ” ⠀ My manager told me that they couldn’t allow me to wear it. ⠀ So I gave report, & left. ⠀ America is NOT prepared & Nurses are NOT safe. Plz DM me any telehealth jobs.

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A medical worker at Phoebe Hospital in Albany, GA — the site of a major hotspot in the state — posted a video saying she was forced to quit her job because she was a single mother and couldn't risk infecting her children.
"It is good and appropriate for health care workers to be able to express their own fears and concerns, especially when expressing that might get them better protection," Glenn Cohen, faculty director of Harvard Law School's bioethics center, said in an interview with Bloomberg. "When health care workers say they are not being protected, the public gets very upset at the hospital system."
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.

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