Nurses to hold Ebola protests in 13 states

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The largest U.S. nurses union is planning a day of action in mid-November to protest the lack of federally enforced safety precautions against Ebola.

National Nurses United (NNU) announced it will hold events in at least 13 states and the District of Columbia to call attention to the issue.

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The group has been one of the most vocal critics of the federal response to Ebola, arguing the best way to prepare for a pandemic would be to impose new training and protection requirements for healthcare workers.

"With the refusal of hospitals across the country to take seriously the need to establish the highest safety precautions for when an Ebola patient walks in the door, and the failure of our elected leaders in Washington to compel them to do so, America’s nurses say they have to make their voices heard a little louder," NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro said in a statement.

NNU joined the debate over Ebola protections for healthcare workers as the first victim diagnosed in the U.S. — Thomas Eric Duncan — received care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. 

Duncan ultimately died, but not before the Ebola virus passed to two nurses who have since recovered.

The union, which does not represent nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian but has spoken on their behalf, said the two women contracted Ebola due to poor direction from the hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The day of action, scheduled for Nov. 12, is intended to keep the debate in headlines as attention shifts to enforced quarantine orders for healthcare workers returning from West Africa.

Events are scheduled to take place in California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Texas and the District of Columbia, NNU said.