The White House is asking hospitals to give health care workers hazard pay

Some health care workers don't qualify for the stimulus checks announced last week, but the President is exploring other options.

The White House is asking hospitals to give health care workers hazard pay
Emanuele Cremaschi / Stringer

The medical workers battling the coronavirus on the front lines of America's hospitals are facing things most of us can't even imagine, and on Monday President Trump stated he is considering giving these workers hazard pay.

During a telephone appearance on Fox and Friends, the President was asked if his administration has plans to support health care workers who don't qualify for the stimulus checks announced last week and he said he is considering options to help "these really brave people."

The question came from a viewer who is an ER nurse herself.

"My co-workers and I are putting our lives and those of our families in direct harm from coronavirus patients. Most of us do not qualify for the stimulus bill and yet our expenses have increased tremendously. Have you considered any type of hazard pay for those of us in direct contact with the virus?" she asked via email.

"We are looking at that and we're looking at that as an amendment or something," President Trump explained, adding that, "We are asking the hospitals to do it and consider something, including bonuses, and I think they are entitled to it. If anybody is entitled to it they are."

The President said that a hazard pay bonus could potentially come "through the funding of the hospitals."

The nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and others working in the nation's ER's are absolutely as brave as the President says and many are experiencing personal and even financial hardships as they separate from their children, partners and other loved ones to keep from spreading the virus to them. For some, this means they must rent a hotel room. In some hospitals, nurses who contract COVID-19 and need to self-isolate don't get paid time off while recovering in at-home quarantine.

The President's remarks on possible hazard pay for health workers come one day after he extended the national social distancing recommendations through April 30.

[Editor's note: This is a developing story, and we'll update it as new information comes in.]

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