Amy Thorn Johnson, also known as Amy Ford, is a nurse who was recognized by President Donald Trump at the White House and spoke at the Republican National Convention in August who has been named as a suspect in a West Virginia shooting. WSAZ reported that the 39-year-old Ford is charged by the Williamson Police with malicious wounding in the shooting of Jonda Whitt in Williamson, West Virginia.
The outlet first reported that the shooting took place on October 8 about 5 p.m. on Vinson Street. The relationship between the two women involved has not been made public at this time.
The suspect is listed by the police as Amy Thorn, but she is also known as Amy Johnson or by her maiden name Amy Ford and she is the same woman who was recognized at the Republican National Convention in August. Dotson confirmed her identity, telling WCHS, “Amy is well-known around the area for her participation and going over to the RNC committee and a nurse that was helping out with the coronavirus and was on the front line.”
Here’s what you need to know about Amy Thorn Johnson Ford:
1. Ford Was Accused of Shooting Whitt in the Abdomen & Whitt Is Expected to Live After Undergoing Surgery
The shooting victim, Whitt, has undergone surgery and Williamson police told WSAZ that she is expected to make a full recovery. Whitt was brought to Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center and was later airlifted to Pikeville Medical Center for surgery, according to the Mingo Messenger.
Williamson Police Chief Grady Dotson told WCHS, “Through the investigation we came to find out that two females got into a verbal argument, turning into one of the females getting a gun. She did shoot the victim one time in the abdomen area.” Johnson told police in a statement that she shot Whitt in self-defense.
Police also reported to the outlet that the gun used by Ford was legally registered and she did have a permit to carry it. According to the outlet, Ford was arraigned and released on a $5,000 bond.
2. Ford Spoke at the Republican National Convention in August & Praised President Trump’s Response to the Pandemic
Ford was invited to speak at the White House during the COVID-19 pandemic after she made headlines for her decision to travel to New York City and help patients in the affected city. She was then given a speaking role at the Republican National Convention this past August, where she spoke about Trump’s COVID-19 response. In the video, available at the top of this section, she says, “President Trump recognized the threat this virus presented for all Americans early on and made rapid policy changes.”
Ford spoke about the increased accessibility to telehealth services since the start of COVID-19 and the possibility of video visits between patients and their families.
“As a healthcare professional I can tell you without hesitation, Donald Trump’s quick action and leadership saved thousands of lives during COVID-19,” she said in her 3-minute long speech.
3. Ford Made Headlines When She Deployed to New York City & Texas at the Height of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Ford deployed to New York City at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in response to officials’ call for more health care professionals in that city. At the time, Ford told WSAZ, “I just felt like my services were needed more in New York than home at this time.”
She was assigned to an intensive care unit in Brooklyn, “roughly about 630 beds,” she told the outlet. “They had three intensive care units to start with, and they converted another area to a fourth intensive care unit to hold patients who are on ventilators. The rest of the hospital is primarily all COVID-19 patients.”
Ford was honored for her work in New York City by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who named her a “Better Angel,” referring to people who are helping their communities during the pandemic, WCHS reported. The video and press release from Manchin about Ford have both been removed from their official accounts.
4. Ford Was Invited to Speak at the White House in May After a Video She Posted About COVID-19 Went Viral
Ford posted a video on Facebook in April sharing her experiences in New York City and urging people to socially distance. The emotional video was widely viewed and shared, with thousands of reactions and comments.
In response to her work and the viral video, Ford was invited to an event at the White House in May, where she told Trump and the rest of the crowd, “This experience has been one of the most emotionally challenging things that I’ve ever been through, but it has made me a better person in the end,” according to the White House’s Facebook video of the event.
She also spoke to Trump after her speech and he asked her if she’d caught the virus. She said she hadn’t, and explained that the hospital had been providing her and fellow nurses with PPE and they hadn’t experienced a shortage. The full transcript of the speech and Trump’s introduction of Ford is available on the White House website.
5. Ford Is the Mother of Three Children & Has Been a Nurse for 17 Years
Ford has been a registered nurse for 17 years, according to her RNC speech. In her remarks, she said her mother was also a nurse and her father was a coal miner. A native of Matewan, West Virginia, she attended Matewan High School, where she graduated in 1999. She obtained an associate degree in nursing at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, according to her Facebook profile.
She then obtained her nursing degree as West Virginia University in 2006. Her Facebook profile indicates that she’s worked at Trinity Health Care Services of Mingo since March 2019.
Ford, whose name was misspelled in some reports as Amy Thorne, is the mother of three children, according to WCHS.