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CBS News has picked up the story of the woman who claims her hospital gave her no protection to take care of COVID-19 patients.
But CBS News apparently didn’t check the story because, as they say, it was too good to check.
Imaris Vera, part-time nurse and part-time Instagram model, claims she quit her job at a Chicago area hospital – still unnamed – because the hospital didn’t provide nurses with proper equipment around COVID-19 patients.
All we’ve heard is howls from governors and CDC officials for us not to take away gear from first responders. Save the PPE and the N-95 masks for the pros. So at first blush, the story looked like it might be true.
Then it started crumbling.
In perfect hair and make-up, the model and Instagram influencer wept over not having enough equipment to stay safe. She wept for her family who might get COVID-19 from her. CBS provided a somber music bed over which the sobbing nurse declared:
“America is not being prepared. The nurses are not being protected. I quit my job today. I went into work and I was assigned to a COVID patient on an ICU unit that has been converted to a designated COVID unit.”
In one frame CBS wrote the quote, “none of the nurses are wearing masks…”
In tears, a nurse says she quit her job after she was asked to work in a coronavirus ICU without a face mask: “America is not prepared, and nurses are not being protected” https://t.co/ywoSuLOPYP pic.twitter.com/S5BsnlO5nt
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 5, 2020
CBS News obviously wanted people to understand that these nurses were not given masks to wear around COVID-19 patients.
People were outraged. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders demanded something be done by the Department of Labor!
“It is insane that our nurses are being forced to care for the sick without masks and respirators. The Department of Labor must immediately issue emergency workplace standards to protect our health workers, their families, and their patients.”
It is insane that our nurses are being forced to care for the sick without masks and respirators. The Department of Labor must immediately issue emergency workplace standards to protect our health workers, their families, and their patients. https://t.co/Z8dWqtxz5X
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 5, 2020
And then, here’s the rest of Vera’s sentence:
“… not even surgical masks in the hallways when they’re giving reports to each other. I had my own N-95 mask. I told my manager I know we’re short on supplies, but let me protect myself. Let me feel safe. I have family that I have to come home to and, the way things are looking, this isn’t going to get any better. America is not prepared. And nurses are not being protected.”
That’s right, they’re not wearing surgical masks in the hallways. It doesn’t appear she actually said they weren’t wearing masks in the rooms of COVID-19 patients, but that’s not what CBS wanted you to think.
My colleague, Megan Fox, saw Vera’s original Instagram post and asked her to provide the name of the hospital so she could get a comment from them. No response. In fact, we still do not know where this woman worked.
On her Instagram page, the woman claims to be a traveling nurse. In February, she was thrilled to get a contract at a hospital after being off ICU work for a year and a half:
“✌🏼 Two 12+ hour shifts coming right up !!! Laundry 🧺 , cleaning 🧹 , meal-prepping 🍴 , mental pep-talks 🧠 & possibly crying 😭 over a glass of wine! 🍷 lol How do you prep for a shift(s) or clinicals?
So I’m three weeks into my first ICU contract in over a year and half after cross training as a traveler into Interventional Radiology. I’m honestly struggling a bit & know it’s my depression & bi-polar disorder trying to get the best of me!”
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✌🏼 Two 12+ hour shifts coming right up !!! ⠀ Laundry 🧺 , cleaning 🧹 , meal-prepping 🍴 , mental pep-talks 🧠 & possibly crying 😭 over a glass of wine! 🍷 lol ⠀ How do you prep for a shift(s) or clinicals? ⠀ So I’m three weeks into my first ICU contract in over a year and half after cross training as a traveler into Interventional Radiology. I’m honestly struggling a bit & know it’s my depression & bi-polar disorder trying to get the best of me! ⠀ If you’re someone that deals with mental health 😔 challenges that make it difficult to prepare & get things done, I feel you! You’re not alone!! Take your breaks, don’t be so hard on yourself 🤲🏼, & set realistic expectations for your daily goals. I didn’t say it’d be easy, but putting the effort to try will absolutely be worth it! ⠀ I believe in you! 💪🏼🧠 ⠀ Happy #transformationtuesday ! Everyday is a chance for evolution! ⠀ Princess Jasmine Badge Reel: @jewelnvy ⠀
Twitter sleuths sprung into action and noted that, according to her own posts, Vera lasted only four days on the job before she quit because the information about COVID-19 “triggered” her.
Four days into the job and 90% are dying and on ventilators. Notice she admits information TRIGGERS her. Ya, think? pic.twitter.com/ANbDCFOhiz
— Rosie memos (@almostjingo) April 6, 2020
Took internet sleuths about 5 minutes to obliterate her credibility.pic.twitter.com/N56GRS6FgT
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) April 6, 2020
Sadly, since she is “struggling from depression and bi-polar disorder” and feeling “triggered,” one might think the ICU would be a bit too overwhelming. Some less generous folks compared her to Jussie Smollett and called her a “crisis actor.”
Remember when Jussie Smollett was paraded by #FakeNewsMedia because it hurt Trump …
Meet the crying nurse. @CBS you make the Enquirer look 💯 Legitimate 🙄
— 💄ɳαɳ૮ن🇺🇸#KAG #ChinaLiedPeopleDied (@LVNancy) April 6, 2020
Indeed, two days ago, before CBS did its treatment of Vera’s story, she did an interview with WGN TV in Chicago and admitted that the still-unnamed hospital did give nurses N-95 masks but told them to wear one per day.
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Thank you @dinabairwgn for letting my voice be heard. HCPs and Essential workers deserve to be protected by any means necessary. ⠀ Our voices DESERVE to be heard. ⠀ So many want to know what I’m doing to see a change; I’m using this opportunity to voice what’s happening to so many of us HCPs and essential workers and to see changes made to better protect us. ⠀ Let your voice be heard and complete the @holliblu COVID workplace safety survey link 🔗 in my bio. ⠀ They’ve already collected thousands of surveys & will be anonymously sharing this data to show the depth of this safety crisis situation. ⠀ The joint commission released a statement this week stating “Healthcare providers can now bring in and wear their own PPE if the hospital is experiencing a shortage.” and most of the hospitals across the country ARE experiencing a shortage. This is HUGE! ⠀ Yesterday, the President invoked the “Defense Production Act” which is CRUCIAL for us to receive adequate PPE and ventilators without allowing companies to price gauge (charging $16 for an N95 mask when it costs $1 to make). ⠀ These are the CHANGES I WANT FOR ALL OF US. ⠀ I never imagined in a million years I’d be placed in the situation I’m in, but now that I am, I might as well advocate. ⠀ For those of you that are sending me hate mail or angry with my decision, just know I’m advocating for YOU too.