In health care debate, Underwood dogged by exaggeration of nursing experience
A spokesperson for Republican members of Congress recently got Twitter slammed for referring to freshman congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville) as a “fake nurse.”
But Carly Atchison with the National Republican Congressional Committee was right in pointing out a running deception of Underwood’s about her work experience as a practicing nurse. She is registered to practice nursing but she never has practiced in Illinois or anywhere else.
The most glaring embellishment of Underwood’s experience as a nurse came through in her first campaign commercial where she greets a mother and her two children in what appears to be the reception area of a doctor’s office. Clipboard in hand, she’s sporting blue hospital scrubs and a stethoscope around her neck.
She introduced herself in the commercial “as a registered nurse, treating patients … .”
It was all staged. The spot was actually shot in a Naperville dentist’s office, White Eagle Dentistry, a few blocks from her parents’ home in the White Eagle Golf Club subdivision.
A casting call, advertised on Facebook, asked for “a few volunteers to join us for a photoshoot tomorrow (2/8) midday. Looking for friendly faces of all ages, genders, backgrounds. Please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”
In another instance, she told Now This Politics, that, “as a nurse, I have looked into my patients’ eyes when giving discharge instructions knowing they cannot afford the prescription that we’re handing to them.”
But according to her own biography, Underwood has never worked as a practicing nurse in a hospital, or in any setting where she would be discharging patients.
Underwood has another part of her past she needs to straighten out for voters. She used an absentee ballot to vote in the 2016 Democratic Primary in Illinois even though she was registered at the time to vote in Washington, D.C. A big no-no, according to election law experts.
In November, Underwood defeated four-term Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren in the 14th congressional district. The 14th includes most of Kane County as well as parts of Kendall, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will and DeKalb counties.