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The Two Letters Call On the President to Take Immediate, Data-driven Action to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

NEW YORK – Today COVID Survivors for Change, a non-partisan grassroots network of COVID-19 survivors, alongside New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU) released two open letters to President Trump criticizing his inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the letters is penned by more than 800 COVID-19 survivors from 49 states; The other letter comes from more than 1,400 health care workers across 48 states. 

In both letters, the survivors and frontline healthcare workers call out President Trump for his failure to lead. The letter from more than 1,400 healthcare workers criticizes the “Trump administration’s actions and policies that are antithetical to a healthy society and to nursing’s values and code of ethics.” In the letter from COVID-19 survivors and loved ones of those who have been taken by the pandemic, the survivors write that Trump’s words have been, “extremely disrespectful to the memories of our loved ones, minimize the terrible impacts of this virus, and put the safety of the American people at risk.

More than 225,000 Americans have died because of COVID-19 this year and nearly 9 million have contracted the virus. To address the pandemic, nurses and COVID-19 survivors ask the president to: implement a data-driven pandemic response plan that is based on proven prevention and outbreak reduction strategies, prioritize a reopening plan that ensures the safety of all Americans, and directly support those most impacted by COVID, including by providing sufficient PPE for all essential workers. 

“As an ER nurse in New York, I lived through a trauma this spring that I still struggle to describe, and then it was compounded when my own brother died of COVID-19,” said Liza Billings, an Executive Board member of New York Professional Nurses Union and member of COVID Survivors for Change. “Along with so many COVID-19 survivors and nurses, I am appalled by how President Trump has made light of a pandemic that’s killed more than 225,000 Americans. But more than his words, I’m appalled by his lack of action. The president has proven time and again that he cares much more about his own dying popularity than dying people. We deserve so much more from our leaders.”

The full text of the letter from COVID-19 survivors, organized by COVID Survivors for Change, is available here.

The full text of the letter from more than 1,400 nurses, nurse practitioners and other healthcare workers, organized by New York Professional Nurses Union and COVID Survivors for Change, is available here.

About COVID Survivors for Change

COVID Survivors for Change is a national, non-partisan movement bringing together Americans who have lost a loved one to COVID-19, as well as those who have survived the virus and those whose lives have been dramatically altered by the pandemic. As part of COVID Survivors for Change, Americans are mobilizing to make sure that communities have the funding, resources and leadership in place to address future public health emergencies. Survivors will also find community and healing in meeting other people whose lives have been forever changed by the pandemic. For more information, please visit:

About New York Professional Nurses Union

The New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU) is a union by nurses and for nurses. The diverse membership include staff and per diem registered nurses, case managers, nurse practitioners, and lactation specialists. Collectively, we fight for better working conditions and benefits, and for increased safety and quality care for our patients. We use inter-generational activism to build a broad-based, member-led movement to demand respect and change for our members at the Northwell Health-owned Lenox Hill Hospital, Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, and Lenox Health Greenwich Village.