POLITICS

Barack Obama Thanks Health Care Workers For 'Giving Everything' Amid Coronavirus

The former president amplified the story of an epidemiologist who tweeted that her physician husband is isolating himself to protect their children.

Former President Barack Obama took the time to say thank you to health care professionals on the “front lines” treating patients with the coronavirus

The 58-year-old quote-tweeted epidemiologist Rachel Patzer’s story about isolating her husband, an emergency department doctor, from his family and noted how people working in health care are “giving everything.”

“We owe a profound debt of gratitude to all our health professionals and everybody who’ll be on the front lines of this pandemic for a long while,” he said. “They’re giving everything. May we all model our own behavior on their selflessness and sacrifice as we help each other through this.”

In her tweet thread shared on Monday, Patzer explains that because her husband treats coronavirus patients, they decided it was best for him to separate himself from his family and “move into our garage apartment for the foreseeable future as he continues to treat patients.”

The couple has a 3-week-old newborn and two other young children and “just can’t risk it.”

“It pains me to wonder how many weeks will go by that he won’t get to hold our new baby or see our older kids. This is one example of the sacrifice that healthcare workers are making for our communities,” she writes in one tweet.

Patzer implored people to take the virus seriously and expressed how difficult it is “to see pictures of all the people at bars and restaurants, socializing, making play dates, and ignoring social distancing recommendations when I know my husband and many other healthcare workers are risking their lives to treat more sick patients.”

“I hope the projections of infections and serious cases are incorrect. If not, our healthcare system will be overloaded. And already we are seeing the strain. Please thank a healthcare worker for what they are doing and sacrificing,” she concluded her thread.

Her plea was clearly heard by Obama, who helped amplify Patzer’s message to his 114 million followers.

COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization earlier this month. Killing more than 7,000 people worldwide, the disease continues to spread as state and local governments in the United States shut down schools, restaurants, bars and more in an effort to contain it. 

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