Nurse who's seen 'hundreds' suffocate 'to death' condemns Trump for downplaying the virus
via Foleyfriends / TikTok

The president's words matter. In what appears to be the waning days of the Trump presidency, they seem to matter less and less but there are still millions of people who mistakenly take his words as gospel.

A poll from last month found that two-thirds of Americans don't trust Trump when it comes to the pandemic. But that still means millions will follow his advice. The frightening thing is that during a pandemic, bad advice can mean the difference between life or death.

On Monday, after returning from Walter Reed Medical Center where he was being treated for COVID-19, President Trump sent out an irresponsible tweet urging Americans to be less concerned with the deadly virus.

A virus that is spreading like wildfire through his administration and their contacts.



"Feeling really good! Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life," he tweeted. "We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"

The tweet was not only totally irresponsible, but it was downright disrespectful to the 212,000 (and counting) Americans who've died from the virus and the countless families affected.

The virus has also taken an unfathomable toll on the frontline healthcare workers who have put their lives on the line and witnessed the suffering caused by the virus.

Cristina Hops, a Seattle nurse who temporarily moved to Miami, Florida to help a hospital with an influx of cases, was astonished by the president's comments, so she took to TikTok to hit him with a dose of reality.


@foleyfriends I can't make a coherent thought because of how angry I am. Maybe more on this later, right now I need to breathe. ##nurse
♬ original sound - Cristina

"I have done compressions on intubated patients. I have seen hundreds of people suffocating to death and for him to say 'do not be afraid of COVID' is astounding," Hops says in the video. "I cannot compute. I have never been so angry."

"Actually, that's not true. I've been angry so many times this year about so many things that he's said and done. I just want you to know that COVID is still out there and it is very scary," Hops said.

"I can't make a coherent thought because of how angry I am. Maybe more on this later, right now I need to breathe," she captioned the video.

Hops told CNN that she's afraid if people take the president's words seriously, it'll lead to more cases and overwhelm the healthcare system.

"The hospital that I was working at was completely overrun," she told CNN. "It's not possible to give everybody the care that they need and deserve when the hospital is that full."

Hops' video has reached tens of thousands of people, let's hope that all of them listen. Because it's important that we elevate the voices of healthcare professionals who care about the public's health over the president, who clearly only cares about himself.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

via Matt Radick / Flickr

Joe Biden reversed Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military earlier this year, allowing the entire LGBTQ community to serve for the first time.

Anti-gay sentiment in the U.S. military goes as far back as 1778 when Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin was convicted at court-martial on charges of sodomy and perjury. The military would go on to make sodomy a crime in 1920 and worthy of dishonorable discharge.

In 1949 the Department of Defense standardized its anti-LGBT regulations across the military, declaring: "Homosexual personnel, irrespective of sex, should not be permitted to serve in any branch of the Armed Forces in any capacity, and prompt separation of known homosexuals from the Armed Forces is mandatory."

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