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A Minnesota nurse who left her family to treat the influx of COVID-19 patients in New York told “The Daily Briefing” Monday she felt compelled to “step up to the plate” as health care workers from across the country flock to coronavirus hot zones.
“I have been in nursing ten years now, and done lots of different things, mostly around emergency medicine and also teaching and I’ve always said, ‘Make sure that you are always willing and ready to step up to the plate,'” Liz Schaffer told host Dana Perino. “And so, right now, our patients that need us the most in health care are here in New York City, and so I answered that call. I stepped up to the plate, and here I am.”
Schaffer flew to New York after Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on healthcare professionals from across the country to come and help the city’s ove-extended hospitals cope and confront the crisis at the epicenter of the outbreak.
“I answered that call. I stepped up to the plate, and here I am.”
— Liz Schaffer
Schaffer said she and her new colleagues have “banded together as a team” to ensure the best care for those infected.
“I love being here,” she said. “The people here, so far have been very welcoming … we are treated phenomenally which is absolutely wonderful, [and] everything at the hospitals [is] going well. We are banding together as a team, both doctors and nurses, therapists to take care of all the patients that come in, and just doing our best to get them all the care that they deserve during this time.”
Schaffer also praised the people of New York City for showing their support and appreciation to her and other hospital workers.
“The first night here … we … happened to be outside, and all of a sudden people just started cheering, and people came up to us and they were like, ‘Are you nurses?’ They were taking pictures with us, saying ‘Thank you,’ it was so heartwarming, and it was the best feeling in the world,” she said.
“Now, today, in the past week when you go to work, and you’re walking to the subway or getting in an Uber or Lyft, people are like ‘Thank you so much, you are awesome’ and it’s just a great feeling.”
As of Monday afternoon, there more more than 130,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York state and more than 4,700 deaths.