White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki knocked a ridiculous suggestion from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy out of the park today at the press briefing.
Doocy asked about comments President Joe Biden made at a speech in Illinois yesterday, where he said that the wife of a friend was having trouble breathing. But when she got to the hospital, “The waiting room was so crowded, things were so backed up, they couldn’t even get her to be seen initially.”
Biden said that he called the hospital and talked to a nurse to find out what the issue was.
“And to make a long story short, it took a while because all of the – not all – the vast majority of the emergency rooms and the docs were occupied taking care of COVID patients,” he said.
Biden was referring to how hospitals have gotten so full these past several months with COVID-19 patients that people with other conditions are dying waiting for treatment. The vast majority of COVID hospitalizations – 93% – are of unvaccinated people.
“Do you know if this particular hospital was having staffing shortages because they have a vaccine mandate and maybe some folks have had to leave because they don’t want to get vaccinated?” Doocy asked Psaki.
“I would love for you to account for me where that is the issue, more so than the number of unvaccinated who are filling emergency rooms and ICU beds,” Psaki responded sharply. “That is the problem in hospitals across the country.”
Doocy: Do you know if this hospital might have been having staffing shortages because they have a vaccine mandate
Psaki: I would love for you to account to me where that is the issue more so than the number of unvaccinated who are filling emergency rooms and ICU beds pic.twitter.com/ImB6TPMFxR
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 8, 2021
While anti-vaccine health care workers have been very vocal about quitting their jobs if forced to get vaccinated, states that have instituted vaccine mandates have found that few follow through.
CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association Cathy Bennett acknowledged that the shortage of nurses specifically has increased this year, but she didn’t blame vaccine mandates. Instead, she said the long hours, stressful work conditions, and a need to care for family members – all exacerbated by the pandemic itself – are the cause.
“Stress and burnout, competing family care priorities, and competition for employees with other sectors,” Bennett said, are causing problems for hospitals seeking nurses.
While Bennett didn’t mention it, the unbridled hostility unvaccinated COVID-19 patients have shown medical professionals when they seek treatment could also be adding to the “stress and burnout” she mentioned.