(Bloomberg) -- Early Thursday morning, nurses in Washington, D.C. gathered outside the Howard University Hospital to protest what they say have been unsafe working conditions throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The event kicked off a jam-packed schedule of strikes across 11 U.S. states and D.C. today organized by National Nurses United, a labor union boasting 175,000 members nationwide. With the highly transmissible omicron variant fueling Covid cases across the country, hospitals are also sounding the alarm about staffing shortages, insufficient resources and overall worsening conditions. 


Some health care workers say the U.S. health care system has been stretched to its limit. 

The day of action’s purpose is “to demand the hospital industry invest in safe staffing, and to demand that President Biden follow through on his campaign promise to protect nurses and prioritize public health,” according to the union.

At 1 p.m. New York time, National Nurses United will hold a virtual press conference to highlight the harrowing workplace conditions nurses have had to face on the frontlines of the pandemic. Members in Washington plan to end the day with a candlelight vigil near the White House to honor the thousands of nurses who have died from Covid-19. 

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