WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is mourning the loss of two members, both health care workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs, who died from COVID-19 complications while serving their fellow veterans.
Roy Coleman, 64, was an emergency medical technician (EMT) at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport, La. He died Monday, April 6, of complications from COVID-19. He was a veteran and member of AFGE Local 2525.
Vianna Thompson, 52, was a registered nurse at the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno, Nev. She died Tuesday, April 7, of complications from COVID-19. She was a veteran and member of AFGE Local 2152.
AFGE National President Everett Kelley issued the following statement:
“On behalf of the 700,000 workers AFGE represents, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of Roy Coleman and Vianna Thompson. Their avoidable and untimely deaths highlight the risks facing front-line health care providers and other mission-critical workers every day – and the scandalous lack of action to keep these workers safe.
“We hear daily reports from our members – many of whom still do not have the proper protective equipment to keep themselves and the public they are serving safe from further spread of the virus.
“We wouldn’t send our soldiers off to war without the proper equipment, but that’s precisely the situation facing many of the federal workers on the front lines of this pandemic. Employees are literally risking their lives to do their jobs, and the government must take immediate action to protect these brave employees and the public they serve. Not tomorrow. Today.”
For the latest coronavirus news, visit www.afge.org/coronavirus.