Statement from MNA President Mary C. Turner, RN on the Second Anniversary of the MN Peacetime Emergency for the COVID-19 Pandemic

This weekend marks the second anniversary of our peacetime emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past two years, we have lost over 12,000 Minnesotans and over 6 million worldwide. Among those lost are family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and other loved ones. Among those lost are some of our own—nurses and healthcare professionals.

We have suffered through the unthinkable. We have dealt with inadequate PPE, unsafe staffing levels, moral injury, and lip-service from those who have the power to solve these problems. But through it all, we’ve continued to do what we’ve always done—care for our patients.

We are tired and we are heartbroken, yes. But we are still standing up for what’s right. First and foremost, we stand up for our patients, for the care they need and deserve. And we are standing up for each other, and for the respect and recognition for everything we and other frontline workers have endured over the past two years.

This solemn occasion reminds us that our work at the legislature, and at the bargaining table is that much more urgent. We continue to stand beside our fellow frontline workers to fight for Frontline Worker Pay. We continue to work toward the passing of the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, which will help solve the staffing crisis we’ve been experiencing long before the pandemic began. We continue to show up to the bargaining table to make sure that we have what we need to provide safe patient care. We continue to prioritize our patients, not hospital and CEO profits.

As this pandemic continues, nurses, we must acknowledge what we’ve lost, what we’ve experienced and what we continue to experience. But let’s also continue to stand up for our patients, our fellow workers, and one another.