Last year social media, TV, and print were all cheering on nurses and medical healthcare workers. They were the heroes on the frontlines. “Not all heroes wear capes, some wear scrubs” covered billboards through major metropolitan cities. They worked endless hours. We were told they were with scant PPE at times. They quarantined from family so as not to bring the virus home, they were often the last eyes their dying patients saw. With a heart to help and care for people, our nation’s medical healthcare workers chose a career they thought would serve their fellow man.
Today they are being threatened. Hospitals and other medical facilities that needed them to work countless shifts are now demanding they comply or lose their jobs.¹ What are they being forced to do? After working for 18 months without a vaccine, they are now forced to take it or face unemployment. Some may be able to apply for exemptions by providing significant personal information and face undue testing and restrictions.
Why is This a Problem?
The CDC’s about-face statement on July 30 stated the viral load for the vaccinated is as high as the unvaccinated. Transmissibility is just as likely with the vaccine as without.²
The nurses that are choosing not to get the vaccine are exercising the same rights they respect of their patients: the right to make their own healthcare decisions. They’ve also seen the many devastating effects of the vaccine on people who’ve come into their facilities. They’ve seen the numbers from the inside of the breakthrough cases, people getting COVID, and many in serious condition, even after the vaccine.³ These nurses are seeing the loss of freedoms and the lack of effectiveness and safety from the inside. They know if they are forced to do this, the rest of the country will have little ability to choose whether or not to get the vaccine. That violates much of what nurses hold as respect for their patients.
Some places are offering exemptions, while many violate other constitutional rights by asking for an overly intrusive defense of religion or other personal information. Oddly, natural immunity, which has been proven superior to the vaccine, is being denied as an exemption. Many of them have had the virus, have recovered, and have robust immunity.
Joe Biden Ties Medicare/Medicaid Funding to Nursing Homes
Yesterday, Joe Biden intensified his push for mass vaccinations. Under his direction, the Department of Health and Human Services will write policy to withhold Medicaid/Medicare payments from nursing homes that do not meet compliance for employee vaccination.⁴ Many of our elderly are cared for in these facilities that rely on this funding. They will be the ones to suffer as nurses and other workers are forced, under this pressure, to make a personal choice.
Many speculate the trend will continue for hospitals and other facilities. This not only affects nurses, but other skilled healthcare, administration, custodial, and food services staff as well.
For several years, the AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) has shown a shortage of nurses. This shortage has been predicted to stretch into 2029 under normal conditions.⁵ However, with many currently in the field searching for alternative careers and others dropping out of nursing school, it looks as though that may be extended. With an aging baby boomer population, this will put tremendous strain on the medical field.
Nurses Unite to Hold the Line for Others
While the pressure outward is for nurses to submit, many have linked arms. There are several social media platforms with groups of several thousand nurses, healthcare workers, allies, and advocates. They are holding the line and encouraging each other. These heroes are aware that if they were to give in, other areas of society will be next: children in schools, other professional fields, and the general public.
While it may appear, according to the media, that most all hospitals are aligned, not all require the vaccine. As the list grows daily⁶, many remain committed to allowing their trusted healthcare workers to make their own health choice. Steele Memorial Hospital in Salmon, Idaho hasn’t required its employees to receive the vaccine. CEO, Jeanie Gentry, said:
“Our culture here in Salmon is very independent. When it comes to vaccines — nobody likes to be told they have to do something. So instead, we’ve taken a rather educational sort of approach with our employees.”⁷
These nurses are finding common allies in police, fire, and EMS services as well as other government funded entities. There have been rallies and gatherings outside of hospitals and other sites as the numbers continue to grow, word spreads, and encouragement is flamed. Sounds of horns honking and passersby cheering and waving indicate they have support from the public around them.
Good for Thee, But Not for Me
As with the mask mandate, it appears as though those making the rules aren’t subject to them. The White House has not mandated vaccines for staff.⁸ Neither does the FDA nor the CDC. A recent fact checker verified the statements:
“Because the FDA does not mandate vaccinations or require staff to report their vaccinations, we do not know the exact percentage of our staff who have not yet been vaccinated, but we have been encouraged to hear from the large number of our staff who have chosen to be vaccinated,” the statement reads.⁹