Foreign Masks, Fear and a Fake Certification: Staff at CSL Plasma Say Conditions at Donation Centers Aren’t Safe

Long sad tale of cover up and neglect by plasma company and US government to keep workers safe.


This story was originally published by ProPublica. ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

Photo by Ian Panelo from Pexels

Heather Steadman, a nurse at a CSL Plasma donation center near Pittsburgh, was about to enter a tiny closed-door room to administer an exam when the doctor handed her a mask in a translucent wrapper labeled KN95. The folded white mask, visible behind Chinese characters, was all her employer was providing to protect her from COVID-19.

Over a nearly 20-year career, she’d worn certified respirators in intensive care units and cared for patients dying from respiratory disease. That night in late June, she was about to lean into the face of a stranger, checking his throat and peering into his eyes, guarded only by a mask of…

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