A Jewish doctor in California shared his shock and emotional reaction on social media to moment when he and his team saw neo-Nazi tattoos on the body of a severly ill coronavirus patient they were treating.
Dr. Taylor Nichols, a Bay Area native and part-time doctor at UCSF, said that his team, which included a Black nurse and a respiratory specialist of Asian heritage, were intubating the man, when they spotted the Nazi tattoos.
“The swastika stood out boldly on his chest. SS tattoos and other insignia that had previously been covered by his shirt were now obvious to the room,” Nichols tweeted Monday in a long thread detailing the experience.
"The pandemic has worn on me, and my mantra isn't having the same impact in the moment," Nichols tweeted earlier this week. "All this time soldiering on against the headwinds, gladiators in the pit. And I realize that maybe I'm not OK."
"I was struck by the impact that this had on me, that I never really faced that kind of hesitation before in my career," he later told CNN.
"We all knew what he thought of us. How he valued our lives. Yet here we were, working seamlessly as a team to make sure we gave him the best chance to survive that we could," Nichols tweeted Monday.
"With this patient, I really didn't have an opportunity to talk to them," Nichols added. "I was left only with the impact that that symbol had on me. It's a symbol of hate. It challenged me a bit."
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Nichols and the patient did have one exchange, in which the older man told him, "Don't let me die, doc."