On Saturday, a woman who claims to be a nurse threatened to withhold a ventilator from a potential patient because he supports President Donald Trump. Erika Waters, who described herself as an “RN Practitioner” in her Twitter bio, suggested that she would deny the man a ventilator due to his pro-Trump face mask.
“My wife sewed this face mask today to protect me from the Wuhan Virus and show support for President Trump,” a man named George Martan tweeted.
My wife sewed this face mask today to protect me from the Wuhan Virus and show support for President Trump. pic.twitter.com/2IRJJIfLCi
— George S. Martan (@s_martan) April 6, 2020
To this, Waters responded, “I’ll see you in ER. Please wear your mask so when we have to decide who gets the vent, it’ll be easier. Thanks.”
This tweet inspired a great deal of understandable outrage and some Twitter users reported the tweet to the social media company as a “threat.”
Waters’s account had 3,785 followers before it was deleted. The account located her in Florida. It remains unclear whether or not she is a registered nurse and if so where she practices.
However, it is tragically likely that some nurses harbor such animus against Trump supporters, and that one or more of them might act on them. American polarization has spilled over into nasty threats of violence against both Republicans and Democrats. A recent spate of threats against Trump supporters seems particularly noteworthy, however.
In February, a man crashed his van into a tent where Trump campaign volunteers were registering voters. That driver later confessed his animosity to Trump and compared the president to “someone s****ing on your grave.” Then a woman sucker-punched a man in a Nashville bar because he wore a MAGA-style hat reading “Make Fifty Great Again.” A Florida man charged at a group of Trump supporters, wielding a cane sword at them. On Super Tuesday, a museum director posted this comment on Facebook: “I hope every single one of you pieces of sh*t that votes republican, dies today.” She apologized and later resigned.
Americans need to band together to fight the coronavirus, and any suggestion that medical professionals would not provide life-saving care due to the political beliefs of a patient is heinous.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.