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AFT Hero: Trung Le

Trung Le, one of our front-line nurses, has been an outspoken advocate of on-the-job safety during the pandemic, sharing his first-hand account. See this video tribute that was just shown at the 2020 AFT Convention!

In harm’s way

One of the biggest storylines from the coronavirus pandemic is the lack of adequate personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in hospitals across the country. Trung Le’s hospital was no different. Le, a registered nurse with UConn Health and member of University Health Professionals/AFT Connecticut, often found himself reusing his PPE for a week or more.

Trung Le with Joe Biden

“As frontline workers, we put our patients first and do what we can to ensure everyone’s safety,” says Le, adding that as a nurse, he knew there was a possibility he could get sick while taking care of patients. But Le was concerned about the reuse of PPE and the risks reuse posed to patients and providers alike. He shared those concerns with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during a virtual roundtable discussion on the impact of COVID-19. “There is an undertone of dread throughout the hospital because this is serious, and we are playing Russian roulette,” Le told Biden.

In April, Le contracted a mild case of COVID-19. He was quarantined in a hotel room for two weeks and eventually recovered; but he has continued to speak out about PPE because he wants hospitals to be better prepared, especially as COVID-19 surges across the country.

“I don’t mind speaking up about what’s happening. I will say and do what I can to protect my co-workers and myself because we are putting our lives on the line,” says Le. “I hope this [pandemic] changes the country and that we realize what’s important and that we need each other to survive.”

Watch Trung Le’s AFT Hero video(link is external).

[Adrienne Coles]

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