Quarantined nurse condemns CDC's incompetence in blistering statement
Coronavirus subway (AFP)

On Thursday, a nurse with the Kaiser Permanente hospital network in California under quarantine for coronavirus released a statement telling the story — and ripping into the Centers for Disease Control for their handling of the crisis.

"As a nurse, I'm very concerned that not enough is being done to stop the spread of the coronavirus," read the statement, put out by the California Nurses Association labor union. "I know because I am currently sick and in quarantine after caring for a patient who tested positive. I'm awaiting 'permission' from the federal government to allow for my testing, even after my physician and county health professional ordered it."

The nurse volunteered to treat this patient, "assuming that if something happened to me, of course I too would be cared for." But that was not what happened.

"When employee health told me that my fever and other symptoms fit the criteria for potential coronavirus, I was put on a 14-day self-quarantine," continued the statement. "Since the criteria was met, the testing would be done. My doctor ordered the test through the county. The public county officer called me and verified my symptoms and agreed with testing. But the National CDC would not initiate testing. They said they would not test me because if I were wearing the recommended protective equipment, then I wouldn’t have the coronavirus ... What a ridiculous and uneducated response from the department that is in charge of our health in this country."

"Later, they called back, and now it’s an issue with something called the 'identifier number,'" said the statement. "They claim they prioritize running samples by illness severity and that there are only so many to give out each day. So I have to wait in line to find out the results. This is not the ticket dispenser at the deli counter; it’s a public health emergency! I am a registered nurse, and I need to know if I am positive before going back to caring for patients."

"I have the backing of my union," concluded the statement. "Nurses aren’t going to stand by and let this testing delay continue; we are going to stand together to make sure we can protect our patients—by being protected ourselves."