About 20,000 nurses in California began a strike yesterday in response to what they feel is inadequate preparation to the Ebola outbreak. For two days, these nurses, members of the National Nurses United (NNU) union, plan to strike.

"Nurses, who have been willing to stand by the patients whether it's the flu, whether it's Ebola, whether it's cancer, are now being asked to put themselves in harm's way unprotected, unguarded," said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the NNU.

Nurses will still perform some of their duties during the strike, but they are holding public rallies. The nurses are calling for better protection for nurses who have to come in contact with patients suffering from Ebola, including full-body hazmat suits for all nurses and respirators that will clean the air and meet National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health standards for safety.

This nurse strike is especially targeting Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest nonprofit health insurers in the country. Nurses are striking in 86 Kaiser Permanente facilities in California. Nurses are also on strike in two other hospitals in California.

More nurses are planning to join the strike, in Washington, D.C. and fifteen other states in the country. Over 100,000 more nurses are expected to add their voices to the protest.

So far, two nurses have been infected with Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, America's first Ebola case. Both nurses have recovered now, but nurses want to make an overall statement about lack of proper protection.

"Most hospitals in the U.S. are parts of corporate chains whose prime directive is their profit margins," said Chuck Idelson, a spokesperson for the NNU union. Unless hospitals are given specific demands, they will always choose the cheapest way, Idelson said.

Kaiser Permanente has rescheduled some non-urgent appointments in response to this strike, but they expect to maintain their normal schedule. Kaiser Permanente maintains that they are doing everything they can to protect nurses' safety.

"To the public, the union is claiming this strike is about Ebola. But the fact is Kaiser Permanente teams have been working on preparations for Ebola non-stop. We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of each nurse, physician and staff member who may be called upon to provide compassionate, high-quality care for a patient with the Ebola virus," said a spokesman for Kaiser Permanente.

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