Amnesty International, a London-based human rights organization, has criticized governments throughout the world, including the U.S., for neglecting health care workers who have died from the coronavirus.

The organization released a study, “Exposed, Silenced, Attacked: Failure to Protect Health and Essential Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” on Monday, saying Russia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. topped the list of countries with the most health care workers deaths.

Russia leads with 545 health care workers dead from the coronavirus, followed by the U.K. with 540, including 262 social workers, and the U.S. had 507, CNN reported.

The report relayed health care and essential workers have faced retaliation from authorities in such forms as arrest, violence, lack of personal protective equipment and not being paid for services rendered in some instances. Sanhita Ambast, Amnesty International’s researcher and adviser on economic, social and cultural rights, said attention must be paid to governments who abuse workers in the fight against COVID-19.

“Countries yet to see the worst of the pandemic must not repeat the mistakes of governments whose failure to protect workers’ rights had had devastating consequences,” Ambast said. “Health care workers on the frontline are the first to know if government policy is not working, and authorities who silence them cannot seriously claim to be prioritizing public health.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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