Rep. Hammoud on Protecting Frontline Caregivers Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

Monday, April 6, 2020

“The current pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetime, and our caregivers on the front-lines are at the greatest risk of infection. I am disgusted at the news that hospital administrators are forcing employees, some that are vulnerable, to work in unsafe conditions due to a lack of adequate personal protective equipment when caring for patients with COVID-19. No workers should be fired for not wanting to work in these unacceptable conditions, nor threatened in any way for shedding light on unsafe work environments. If they are not comfortable with the current work environment or if they have a personal health concern, then they should not be forced into service, just like any other profession.

“We must continue to improve these completely unacceptable conditions by providing personnel with adequate protection and taking every necessary precaution necessary to ensure safety, especially considering that many administrators making these decisions are not subject to the same risks they demand of their employees. Rather than threaten with ultimatums, administrators and public officials alike need to start talking about long-term health benefits and hazard pay.

“Our state must ramp up its efforts in expanding protection for health care workers, as many trained professionals are willing to step in and provide services thanks to efforts to expand licensing eligibility during this crisis. We have been working with volunteers to compile a list of these individuals and are coordinating with Gov. Whitmer on this effort to improve outcomes for patients and provide more support on the front-lines.”