Trump Argues With Nurse Sophia Thomas Over Availability Of Personal Protective Equipment In The Oval Office
President Donald Trump and a nurse got into a spat at the White House on Wednesday after the nurse claimed that there has been a lack of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sophia Thomas, a New Orleans nurse and president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, told reporters in the Oval Office that there are “certainly pockets of areas where PPE is not ideal but this is an unprecedented time” during a National Nurses Day event.
Trump responded: “Sporadic for you, but not sporadic for a lot of other people.”
“I’ve been reusing my N95 masks for a few weeks now,” she noted. “PPE has been sporadic but it’s been manageable, and we do what we have to do, we’re nurses. And we learn to adapt and do whatever the best thing we can do for our patients to get the job done and get the care provided, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do as Covid-19 continues.”
Thomas responded to Trump snapping at her by saying, “Oh, no, I agree Mr. President.”
However, he still continued to contradict Thomas’ firsthand account of her experience,
“Because I’ve heard the opposite. I’ve heard that they are loaded up with gowns now,” Trump said. “And initially we had nothing, we had empty cupboards, we had empty shelves, we had nothing, because it wasn’t put there by the last administration.”
He added that he saw that a Honeywell factory in Phoenix, Arizona was producing “millions of masks a month.” Trump had visited the manufacturing plant and day earlier, where he failed to wear a mask of his own.
“We have other factories being built now for masks, and for the most part I mean, that was fine,” Trump said. ’“But I’ve heard that we have tremendous supply to almost all places. Tremendous supply.”