The National League for Nursing is shocked and saddened by the events that resulted in violence and loss of life at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. As an organization whose members have dedicated their lives to protecting the public health, we condemn any violent behavior that endangers the public, law enforcement personnel, and the frontline health care professionals who care for them. We also condemn violence that puts our democracy at risk.
Mass gatherings such as this one that result in situations where people forget to social distance can create great risk for all people. The event at the Capitol was a “super spreader” event if anyone in the crowd was experiencing an active case of COVID-19. We have continually urged the public to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to wear masks, maintain social distance, and avoid all mass gatherings. This potential exposure to the virus means that the rioters may continue to spread COVID-19 as they return home to families and coworkers. As a result, people who were nowhere near the Capitol could be in danger long afterwards.
Our nurses and other health care professionals are struggling to do everything we can to save those who are sick and protect those who have not been infected. Our health care system is already stretched to the breaking point in responding to this pandemic. Whether you are personally infected with COVID-19 or not, your ability to access the vital health care you need may be significantly impacted.
Nurses and health care workers cannot be silent in the face of ongoing mass gatherings that pose a long-term danger to the public, the health care system and our nation. As the profession most trusted by the public, we call on all individuals and families to help us fight this deadly virus by following the safety guidance of public health experts, and by expressing themselves peacefully and safely.
We care for you and we care about you. Nurses everywhere are dedicated to advancing the health of our nation and the global community.