“They’re running into death just like soldiers run into bullets, in a true sense,” he said.
“I see that with the doctors and the nurses and so many other people. They go into those hospitals, it’s incredible to see. It’s a beautiful thing to see. But I really call them ‘warriors.’ We’re all warriors; everyone in our country is a warrior.”
Trump’s comments didn’t sit well with medical professionals, who appeared to feel that he was glorifying the deadly risk that comes with their job, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. As noted by Common Dreams, Trump’s comments come as he continues to face criticism for failing to ensure health care workers have adequate personal protective equipment.
“Donald Trump should be ashamed to suggest that we healthcare workers ‘running into death’ is beautiful,” said Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency care physician and executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare.
“What it’s saying is, ‘We don’t care. We don’t care about protecting people’s lives,'” said Dr. Rich Besser, a pediatrician and public health expert.
In the past, Trump has glamorized health care workers while facing criticism for failing to provide them with adequate support. One nurse accused him of leaving them on the “battlefield” with no protection. Jean Ross, president of National Nurses United, echoed these sentiments while speaking with CNN last week.
“You throw us out onto a battlefield without armor,” she said.
Trump says doctors and nurses are "running into death just like soldiers running into bullets" and that "it's a beautiful thing to see." pic.twitter.com/UEHUi3gIhT
— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) May 14, 2020
As noted by News 18, U.S. hospitals face shortages of PPE as the number of coronavirus cases in the country continues to rise. The source pointed out that some nurses have expressed acceptance that their death is inevitable, and their lives are viewed as expendable, a stark contrast to the beauty Trump spoke of in his recent speech.
Per The Indy 100, the European Health Journal recently advised against calling U.K. National Health Service staff “angels” or “heroes.” According to the journal, these words can fuel psychological strain in such workers.
According to Dr. Esther Murray, who contributed to the recommendations, such words suggest that health care workers entered their profession to die “like a hero does,” even though many did not sign up for such a fate.
Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to The Lancet, a respected British medical journal, to call on Americans to replace the president in 2020.