COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Columbus nurse was one of the guests invited to sit with the First Lady during President Biden's first State of the Union address.
Refynd Duro spoke exclusively with 10TV's Angela An about the experience.
Duro said it was a little nerve-wracking, but a proud moment for her to represent Ohio and the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center as a COVID-19 nurse. Duro added she was glad to hear the president address the COVID-19 challenges and how far our country has come in two years.
"It's exciting coming from Ohio and (being) invited to one of the biggest events. And, you know, pretty much (being) part of history," Duro said.
As a frontline worker, Duro had to quarantine away from her family when the pandemic first started.
"It's frustrating. I'm going to be honest with you. I'm also angry at times, being a frontline worker. I feel the pressure, the stress," Duro said.
Duro said she was also glad to hear how President Biden addressed the many challenges Asian Americans like her have faced during the pandemic and the uptick in Asian hate across the country.
"When I take care of patients, they're still a little bit doubtful. I'm thinking, 'Okay, I'm Asian.' And they look at me like - Is this lady going to take care of me?' And of course, why wouldn't I?" Duro said. "So hopefully this, this message from the President will come across and hopefully, that's the biggest message tonight: unity."
Duro said the experience was surreal, including the White House dinner where the staff sang happy birthday to her. She added she is thankful to the American Federation of Teachers and the Ohio Nurses Association for providing her with the opportunity to attend.
"You know, 2022 it is. We are coming full circle, it is getting better and I'm excited. But still, we still need to be careful," Duro said.