May 6, 2020

Coronavirus: Nurse tells Trump she’s used a N95 mask for weeks


One of the nurses President Trump was hosting in the Oval Office for National Nurses Day told him that she had been wearing the same N95 mask ‘for a few weeks now’ as the president called the PPE crisis ‘fake news.’ 

Sophia Thomas, the president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, who practices in New Orleans said there were areas where the PPE supply was ‘not ideal.’ 

‘But this is an unprecedented time and the infection control measures that we learned back when we went to school – one gown, one mask for one patient a day or for a time – this is a different time,’ she explained. 

President Trump, surrounded by nurses, said the country had a 'tremendous supply' of medical equipment to combat the coronavirus, with one nurse saying she's seen no shortage and another reporting that she had worn the same mask for weeks

President Trump, surrounded by nurses, said the country had a ‘tremendous supply’ of medical equipment to combat the coronavirus, with one nurse saying she’s seen no shortage and another reporting that she had worn the same mask for weeks 

Sophia Thomas (right) told President Trump (left) in the Oval Office on Wednesday that she had been using the same N95 mask 'for a few weeks now'

Sophia Thomas (right) told President Trump (left) in the Oval Office on Wednesday that she had been using the same N95 mask ‘for a few weeks now’ 

President Trump said he heard the 'opposite' of what Sophia Turner called 'sporadic, but manageable' supplies of PPE - personal protective equipment

President Trump said he heard the ‘opposite’ of what Sophia Turner called ‘sporadic, but manageable’ supplies of PPE – personal protective equipment 

‘I’ve been reusing my N95 mask for a few weeks now,’ she continued. ‘I just broke out a new to come here in case I needed to wear it.’ 

She described the supply of PPE – personal protective equipment – ‘sporadic, but manageable.’ 

That’s when President Trump jumped in.  

‘Sporadic for you, but not sporadic for a lot of other people,’ Trump said. 

‘Oh no, I agree Mr. President,’ Thomas answered. 

‘Because I’ve heard the opposite,’ Trump said. ‘I’ve heard that they are loaded up with gowns now.’ 

The president continued to contend that he had ‘nothing’ in terms of stored up medical supplies.

‘Because it wasn’t put there by the last administration,’ he said.  

He mentioned his trip to Phoenix on Tuesday to tour a Honeywell plant that was making N95 masks.   

President Trump was surrounded by workers wearing masks during the tour of Honeywell Tuesday. He wore safety goggles, but no mask, on the tour

President Trump was surrounded by workers wearing masks during the tour of Honeywell Tuesday. He wore safety goggles, but no mask, on the tour 

A sign in the portion of the factory President Trump toured required masks be worn, claiming 'protective equipment is mandatory'

A sign in the portion of the factory President Trump toured required masks be worn, claiming ‘protective equipment is mandatory’

The Honeywall factory the president toured was converted to making N95 masks

The Honeywall factory the president toured was converted to making N95 masks

‘I’ve heard we have tremendous supply, to almost all places,’ Trump said. ‘To the point where we’re going to have some of our supply go to other countries.’ 

Another nurse chimed in to say that she didn’t care for the fearmongering reports in the news about supply shortages because it drives up anxiety for medical personnel. 

‘In reality, I’m not seeing it, I’m in a hot zone right now, I’m in south New Jersey, we’re very close to New York, I’m not seeing it,’ she said.  

Trump cut in at this point too. 

‘You know why, because they’re fake news, that’s why,’ he said. ‘I really appreciate you saying that. It’s so nice you stepped up. Because they’re fake news,’ Trump said, acknowledging the reporters surrounding the Resolute Desk.  

Trump, himself, has yet to don a mask for public consumption. 

During Tuesday’s Honeywell tour, he was photographed wearing safety goggles, but not a mask as he toured a mask production plant. 

Asked about his decision Wednesday not to sport one, Trump said the Honeywell head said, ‘you don’t need one.’ 

‘We were far away from people making the masks. They were making the masks.’    

‘But I did put a mask on and it was a Honeywell mask, actually,’ he added. ‘I don’t know if you saw it or not, but I had it on.’

Trump said it didn’t wear the mask long, but he ‘had it on backstage.’   



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