Ellen Pompeo says it's 'heartbreaking' that medical workers are treating coronavirus patients without protection

Ellen Pompeo weighed in on the government response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Ellen Pompeo weighed in on the government response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo shared sympathy toward medical workers, many of whom are treating coronavirus patients without proper protection.

In a Friday Instagram Live interview with Variety, the actress, who plays Dr. Meredith Grey on the ABC drama, said she was uncertain as to whether or not there will be coronavirus-themed episode, then recalled watching a 2014 clip of President Barack Obama.

“Obviously, we don’t want to get too political here, but I was just watching the news and I saw clip of Barack Obama in 2014, saying that a pandemic was inevitable and that we should be prepared for it,” she told Variety. “And then in 2014, the Republicans were not granting him the budget, the access to put together what he felt like he needed to keep the American people safe, is how he put it in his words. So, in 2014, Obama was very well aware that this was going to happen and very well aware that we needed to be more prepared than we were at that time for it. The fact that five years later we’re not prepared, some people dropped the ball for sure. It’s disappointing.

The TV doctor, who is also a mother of three, said the challenge of staying inside does not compare to what healthcare workers are enduring.

“...Can you imagine having to suit up, hopefully suit up, hopefully you have the PPE to suit up, and walk straight into a hospital every single day and deal with sick person, after sick person, after sick person?” she said. “We don’t know sacrifice. Sitting in our houses, being bored, not having anything to do, being alone and loneliness is a real thing, and I don’t certainly want to downplay that. And I don’t want to also downplay people financially struggling. There’s a lot of fallout from this in all areas.”

Pompeo also expressed her sadness toward the struggles many healthcare workers are experiencing on the frontlines.

“Our healthcare professionals, the fact that they’re fighting this fight unprepared without the proper gear is really heartbreaking for me,” she told the outlet. “When people are struggling, if you’re struggling, I think it’s always helpful to think of someone else and think of what you could do for someone else.”


For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.

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