In honor of World Health Day on Tuesday (April 7), former President Barack Obama sent out a message of gratitude to health care workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We owe a profound debt of gratitude to all our medical professionals,” tweeted the onetime commander in chief. “They’re still giving their all for us every day, at great risk to themselves and we can’t thank them enough for their brevity and their service.”
It’s World Health Day, and we owe a profound debt of gratitude to all our medical professionals. They’re still giving their all for us every day, at great risk to themselves, and we can’t thank them enough for their bravery and their service.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 7, 2020
With more than 18 million workers across the U.S., healthcare remains the fastest growing industry in the U.S. economy. Many healthcare professionals remain on the front lines caring for patients battling coronavirus, despite facing an increased risk of catching the viral disease due to a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The American Hospital Association launched a campaign to secure 1 million masks for health care workers, including doctors, nurses and caregivers of COVID-19 patients. “Our health care heroes on the front lines have an immediate need for personal protective equipment and we have to push on all cylinders to get these items produced and into the field,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack.
The AHA is one of many efforts to get PPE to workers in need. McDonalds vowed to donate 1 million N95 masks to health care workers in Chicago, Apple announced a donation of 10 million masks to the medical community, Nordstrom has commissioned its tailors to sew masks, and Nike is making full face-shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect healthcare workers against COVID-19.
NBA legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, donated 900 pairs of goggles to health care professionals in Southern California, Future and his The FreeWishes Foundation are also donating masks to hospital workers. A school in Baltimore City donated over 150 gloves and masks to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and a multiple Brooklyn schools banded together to donate gloves, goggles and hand sanitizer to local hospitals in desperate need of supplies.