James O'Brien's powerful tribute to NHS workers who died of coronavirus

20 April 2020, 15:06

By Adrian Sherling

At least 96 health and social care workers have died of Covid-19. James O'Brien wanted to make sure that each of them is remembered as a person, not a statistic.

Speaking at the end of his LBC show today, James said: "I think it's important to commemorate by name every member of our healths services who is currently believed to have died after either testing positive for Covid-19 or being diagnosed as a suspected Covid-19 case.

"This is probably the most important thing we'll do together in this period of time."

He then read out the name of every single one of those doctors, nurses, carers and other healthcare professionals who have lost their life during the pandemic. It was a deeply emotional moment.

James O'Brien read the names of every healthcare worker who's died from coronavirus
James O'Brien read the names of every healthcare worker who's died from coronavirus. Picture: Family handouts

And at the end, James summed it up: "Every single one of these people has essentially made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their neighbours, their friends, their families.

"There were an awful lot of names there who were unlikely to have appeared in the Domesday Book. A lot of names who obviously had heritage overseas.

"A lot of these people will have died in the service of people encouraged over the years to hate them. I wonder how many of these faces would have fitted into that despicable Breaking Point poster?

"If you did fall that for that bile and hatred, take this as an opportunity to remember the humanity of the people that look after you. And in this case, the people who have given their lives caring for all of us. Even perhaps those of us who think they should have gone back to where they came from."

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