A police officer outside the Pulse nightclub memorial in Orlando. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Two years after the Pulse nightclub shooting, the first responders who witnessed the gruesome scene are still struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. ProPublica has a deep dive into five of their stories.

The big picture: Police are having flashbacks to the night of the shooting and its affecting their work in the field. All five found it difficult or impossible to go back to work, at least in the field.

The details, per ProPublica:

  • The symptoms are all relatively similar — vivid flashbacks to the night of the shooting and sudden flashes of anger or anxiety at home.
  • One police officer described vivid flashbacks triggered by the iPhone’s default ringtone, because victims’ phones were ringing constantly inside the club as friends and relatives tried to get in touch.

Professional support varied. Some were encouraged to get treatment and therapy; other had to fight for reassignments and benefits. One was fired for a subsequent infraction and is suing the Orlando fire department for wrongful termination. Some say they were told that seeking help for PTSD was a sign of weakness.

Therapy worked for some, but not for everyone.

  • “Did it help? I don’t know. Did it make it worse? I don’t know,” former police officer Omar Delgado told ProPublica. “But I’m not well. And when you’re not well, is something working?”

Go deeper

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.