BANGOR- Registered nurse members of National Nurses United held more than 200 protests across the country, including one in downtown Bangor.
To honor nurses who passed away from COVID-19 complications and to prevent even more nurse deaths, a group consisting of registered nurses and a state lawmaker gathered in front of Bangor’s federal building to make some demands.
“I’m happy to be here to join my brothers and sisters in National Nurses United to call upon Senator Collins to end this part of the failed federal response by finally fully utilizing the defense production act to make sure the men and women that are on the front lines of this situation, who are dying for lack of PPE will finally get the support they deserve from our federal government,” said Representative Scott Cuddy (D) – Winterport.
In addition to implementing the defense production act, the group said they had met Maine’s U.S Senators to demand that OSHA enacts a temporary emergency standard that would give nurses and other health care workers additional protections at work.
“I’m happy to report that senator king agreed to make these demands to the federal government. We are so appreciative of his willingness to make that commitment to us right on the spot and so early on in the crisis. On the other hand we have been waiting nearly four months to hear this same commitment from Senator Collins,” said Dawn Caron, a registered nurse at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Overall, the nurses at the protest said the goal is to get the government to take immediate action and pass the heroes act, a pending bill that would protect health care and other essential workers and provide economic help in the form of cash payments and extended unemployment benefits to families through the end of 2020.
“Nurses and other healthcare workers are getting extremely sick while caring for their patients. My heart is heavy when I tell you at least 174 nurses in the u.s have died of covid-19. And that’s the ones that we know of, ” Main State Nurses Association President Cokie Giles said.