RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As plans are made for President Donald Trump to hold a campaign rally at Fayetteville Regional Airport on Saturday – healthcare workers are concerned about the lack of mask-wearing and social distancing they’ve seen at previous events.
That includes Nurse Practioner Gracie Galloway.
Galloway and her service dog, “Jacques,” spend their days with COVID-19 patients at the Community Free Clinic in Concord.
“I’m frustrated at this point in time and I’m still angry because my patients who are the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick. Those are the ones at the highest risk,” said Galloway.
The frustration comes from an inconsistent national policy to control coronavirus and from the newly released recordings of Trump made by journalist Bob Woodward in the early days of the pandemic.
“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said to Woodward.
What you hear is not what the president conveyed to the public.
“So, complete anger because there are people in my patient community that believed what the president said, that really honestly thought, ‘OK there’s no need to wear masks because it’s a hoax,'” Galloway said.
Galloway, who also has a Ph.D. in public health, said while the scientific community knew the truth about COVID-19, people still put their trust in the president.
“They believe ‘the president won’t lie to me. Surely he wouldn’t lie to me.’ So if he says that COVID-19 is being contained then it’s being contained,” the nurse practitioner said.
Now with U.S. deaths approaching 200,000 and flu season approaching, Galloway is most concerned about people spreading it who don’t know they have it.
“I’ve seen the gamut – from very severe to the traditional loss of taste and smell to the mild headache and the bit nauseous but they’re positive,” she said.
Galloway said those who show mild symptoms and mistake the virus for something else are the ones she worries about not getting tested and then spreading the disease to others.
A decision she said could take the life of someone else.
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