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Hospitals are threatening to fire doctors who speak out about poor working conditions amid coronavirus outbreak

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Health care professionals who speak out about their working conditions during the coronavirus outbreak are being threatened with termination by their employers, and some have already followed through, according to a report from Bloomberg.

“Ming Lin, an emergency room physician in Washington state, said he was told Friday he was out of a job because he’d given an interview to a newspaper about a Facebook post detailing what he believed to be inadequate protective equipment and testing,” Bloomberg reports. “In Chicago, a nurse was fired after emailing colleagues that she wanted to wear a more protective mask while on duty. In New York, the NYU Langone Health system has warned employees they could be terminated if they talk to the media without authorization.”

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Hospitals have always had strict guidelines when it comes to what employees can say to the media, but according to Ruth Schubert, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Nurses Association, the pandemic has ushered in a new era.

“Hospitals are muzzling nurses and other health-care workers in an attempt to preserve their image,” Schubert told Bloomberg. “It is outrageous.”

Health-care workers “must have the ability to tell the public what is really going on inside the facilities where they are caring for Covid-19 patients,” she added.

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According to Glenn Cohen, faculty director of Harvard Law School’s bioethics center, it’s a good thing for health-care workers to be able to express their frustrations “especially when expressing that might get them better protection.”

Read the full report over at Bloomberg.


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2020 Election

Groups plan vigil outside Supreme Court and national solidarity events to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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National advocacy groups joined together Saturday to organize a candlelight vigil outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.—and encourage solidarity events across the country—to honor the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday after a long battle with cancer at the age of 87.

"She gave all she could, with literally all she had. Now it's our turn," says a Facebook event for the D.C. gathering, hosted by Women's March, Planned Parenthood Action, Demand Justice, and UltraViolet. "Tonight, join us in front of the U.S. Supreme Court at 8 pm ET" or "in solidarity at your local courthouse."

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Belarus opposition to march after police crackdown

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Belarusian authorities on Sunday brought military trucks and barbed wire into central Minsk ahead of a planned opposition march, a day after police detained hundreds of women demonstrators.

The opposition movement calling for an end to the regime of authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko has kept up a wave of large-scale demonstrations every Sunday since his disputed win in August 9 polls.

The latest opposition protests were set to begin at 2 pm local time (1100 GMT), with opposition social media calling for demonstrators to gather in central Minsk as well as in other cities.

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Activists accuse Italy of halting ship rescue mission

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Rights activists on Sunday accused Italian authorities of blocking migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 4 from leaving port and resuming its emergency mission in the Mediterranean.

After an inspection on the safety of the vessel to operate in high seas, Italian authorities placed the ship under an administrative blockade, said the German activist groups Sea-Watch and United4Rescue, as well as Doctors without Borders.

It is currently docked in Palermo in southern Italy.

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