She went $600,000 in debt to outfit coronavirus workers — and hospitals keep turning her down

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Shearer doesn’t necessarily present as a skilled medical supplies haggler, but that’s all she does now. A 65-year-old sculptor whose late husband was the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, she’s a rarity in the tony Manhattan neighborhood of Soho where she’s lived in an artists’ loft for decades. Nearly everyone else, it seems, fled to their second homes in the Hamptons or even farther afield when the coronavirus pandemic hit. “I have no country house, no car,” said Shearer, and besides, this is where she feels at home, running not away from, but toward the fire.


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