WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump contradicted a New Orleans-area nurse who said during a meeting with him at the White House Wednesday that some parts of the country are still experiencing shortages of protective medical gear, insisting the U.S. supply is “tremendous.”
The exchange happened during an Oval Office event to recognize National Nurses Day amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A reporter asked Luke Adams, whom the White House identified as a “volunteer nurse” from New York state, whether he had sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment, or PPE. He said yes.
But another participant, Sophia Thomas, president of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners, then said that there were pockets of the country without good protective equipment. She works at the Daughters of Charity Health System in the New Orleans area.
She said she had been wearing the same N95 face mask for a “couple of weeks” and called the supply of PPE at her health system “sporadic but manageable.” She said she and her colleagues do what they have to do.
Trump interrupted. “Sporadic for you but not sporadic for a lot of other people,” he said.
Trump insisted the country is “now loaded up” and added: “I’ve heard we have tremendous supply to almost all places.”
Other nurses in the Oval Office agreed with him.