(LifeSiteNews) – There is a significant chance that there will be a major shortage of nurses starting on October 1, former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson has reported, because they are quitting their jobs rather than take experimental coronavirus vaccines.
October 1 is the proposed deadline for mandatory vaccinations for staff in many hospitals, Berenson said, and the situation is so severe that he warned, “if you need to get sick, do it before the mandates hit Oct. 1.”
Berenson, an independent journalist and novelist, is in communication with many people around the world and often posts to Twitter screenshots of vaccine-related emails he receives.
“What we are seeing locally is that nurses are the tip of the spear in the resistance to vaccine mandates,” one person in correspondence with Berenson said.
If the nurses stay tight the mandates go bye bye pic.twitter.com/gNsmVnDbuU
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) August 17, 2021
In the opinion of the person who wrote that email, the reasons that nurses are vital in the fight against mandated COVID-19 vaccinations are:
- They are essential to care delivery
- There are a lot of them
- They have a portable skill and can go elsewhere
- Relatively few are primary breadwinners, so lost income can be absorbed
- There is already a severe nursing shortage independent of COVID
The same email stated, “Healthcare systems are in crisis mode about this. There is already a severe nursing shortage. Locally, I am hearing of emergency meetings and systemwide measures, including reflex matching of offers to go elsewhere, retention bonuses, critical shift-pay bonuses, etc.”
This trend has been seen elsewhere in the United States, as well as in Canada. One hospital in Arkansas is so short on nurses that it is offering a $25,000 signing bonus as part of a contract. In Canada, the Windsor Regional Hospital is offering up to $75,000 in bonuses to new nurses from outside Canada or outside Ontario.
In one email, a nurse who asked to remain nameless wrote, “I work at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange County, California. We have been mandated by the state of California to be fully vaccinated by 9/30/22. If we’re not vaccinated we will receive a 5-day unpaid suspension beginning October 1st. If we don’t get our initial vaccination in that 5-day time span we are terminated on October 6th.”
California was the first state in the nation to mandate vaccinations for health care workers. Employees of hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, clinics, and other medical facilities have until September 30 to get at least one dose of the coronavirus shot, under an order issued by Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, California’s public health officer. In the meantime, if they are unvaccinated they must undergo mandatory weekly coronavirus testing.
According to the same nurse from Orange County, “There are currently 70 NICU nurses refusing vaccination. That unit will be in bad shape if they lose 70 staff members. Many nurses in other units are also refusing. Management is also telling staff that they aren’t even allowed to speak about the vaccines at work.”
Berenson tweeted that he “can’t even count how many emails” he has received that are similar to this one.
As part of California’s mandate, visitors to hospitals are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter a hospital. The person who shared the same email Berenson shared said, “CHOC administration has decided to change the name of our visitors to “care partners” and has exempted them from showing proof of vaccination or a negative test. So while forcing young healthy employees to take a vaccine under EUA (emergency use authorization) they are going to allow visitors into the facility that could potentially infect staff and patients.”
This issue is not unique to the state of California, as over a thousand health systems across the U.S. have mandated COVID shots for employees.
Berenson also revealed in the same Twitter thread that he had received word from an employee at a small system in Maryland with a high vaccination rate that they are still anticipating chaos when the mandate comes into effect. Due to demographic factors, such as an aging “baby-boomer” generation, there is increasing worry about a nursing shortage in the U.S., and so the potential loss of employees as a result of vaccine mandates could prove costly.
Alan Levine, CEO of Ballad Health in Tennessee, has said that even though he supports mandating the experimental shots, the resistance on behalf of a number of employees would lead to greater staffing shortages.
The largest healthcare union in the United States, the 1199 United Healthcare Workers union in New York, has already mounted protests outside private hospitals that imposed vaccination mandates on their staffs. The union has publicly adopted a stance that its members should get vaccinated, but not be forced.