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  • Medical workers work at a coronavirus testing site at DC Fire and EMS Station 10 in Washington, U.S. August 7, 2020.

    Medical workers work at a coronavirus testing site at DC Fire and EMS Station 10 in Washington, U.S. August 7, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 August 2020
Opinion

The union coalition, which represents over 15 million workers, filed a legal petition addressed to the U.S. health and homeland security authorities. In the absence of a response in a two-week term, the workers could sue them.

U.S. healthcare and service unions requested from the government a steady Personal Protective Equipment supply on Tuesday, alleging frontline personnel is at risk due to the biosecurity accessories shortage. 

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 “More than 100 of my coworkers have tested positive for the coronavirus, and many of those positive tests were due to occupational exposure because of the lack of PPE. This is inexcusable,” the president of the Ohio State University Nurses Organization and a nurse Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center president Rick Lucas said.

The union coalition, which represents over 15 million workers, filed a legal petition addressed to the U.S. health and homeland security authorities. In the absence of a response in a two-week term, the workers could sue them.

Nurses, doctors, teachers, nannies, flight attendants, and other frontline workers face masks, gloves, and gowns shortage since the early pandemic in March, concurring with frequent virus spikes.

The unions expect biosecurity equipment requirements to rise during fall and winter when COVID-19 overlaps seasonal flu. Besides, as several states plan to reopen schools, infections could increase.

The legal petition request that the government enacts the Defense Production Act (DPA) considering the health emergency. The bill prioritizes the government orders to manufacturers, as a wartime contingency.

As of Tuesday, the U.S. registers 5,280,803 COVID-19 cases, of which a fifth corresponds to healthcare workers. Also, the nation reports 167,150 deaths and 2,725,494 recoveries from the virus.

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