Pointing to his tireless advocacy on behalf of Medicare for All, his bold proposals to combat the climate crisis, and his commitment to "putting people above profits," National Nurses United—the largest union of registered nurses in the U.S.—announced Tuesday morning that it is endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
"National Nurses United has endorsed Bernie Sanders because we need a president who will unite all workers to fight for social, economic, racial and gender justice, and who will champion bold ideas on workplace democracy, Medicare for All, and climate change," tweeted NNU executive director Bonnie Castillo, RN.
NNU, which also endorsed Sanders in the 2016 presidential race, boasts over 150,000 members nationwide and has been a driving force in the grassroots push to build support for Medicare for All across the United States.
"We are so proud that together, in 2016, Bernie Sanders and NNU elevated Medicare for All to the national mainstream, where it has advanced to a top 2020 presidential race issue," Castillo said in a statement. "Nurses are beyond tired of watching our patients suffer and die needlessly, simply due to inability to pay, and we know Bernie Sanders is, and has been, leading on Medicare for All through his advocacy and Senate legislation."
Jean Ross, president of NNU, said that "for nurses, our solidarity is a matter of life or death for our patients."
"We need a president who makes it easier for us to stand together and hold our employers accountable," Ross added. "Bernie Sanders is leading all the candidates on labor, with his Workplace Democracy Act and as a cosponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act."
NNU said it will officially endorse Sanders at a press conference on Friday, November 15.
"Nurses are the backbone of American healthcare," Sanders tweeted in response to the endorsement Tuesday. "I want to thank National Nurses United for not only the strong support of our campaign—but for the courage they have shown in helping to lead the effort for a Medicare for All program."
"Together," Sanders added, "we will make healthcare a right."