Friday, May 8, 2020
Nurses protest lack of PPE's and enforcement of social distancing protocols at Rikers Island
Frontline nurses at the notorious Rikers Island jail say they are struggling to treat inmates who don’t even have enough soap and running water to keep the coronavirus at bay.
Social distancing is not enforced at the jail, and there is a dangerous shortage of protective gear and test kits, nurses complained at a rally there on Thursday.
“Let me tell you something — COVID has hit hard beyond these walls,” said Rikers nurse Neshia McDonald, one of 30 nurses to march outside the jail.
“We are Rikers nurses, and we’re asking the public, please, we are doing the job that people are not lining up to do. And we are asking for your help.”
Nurses at the jail are mourning colleague William Chen, who McDonald said died after a COVID-19 patient threw up on him.
“This is not about coffee, donuts,” she said. “This is not about ‘Likes.’ This is reality. We’re asking you to keep us in your prayers because we are working.”