REALITY CHECK: Nurses Are Leaving Hospitals Due to “Unsafe Work Conditions” (USA Today)
By James Lyons Weiler
CLAIM: Nurses are leaving hospitals due to “unsafe work conditions”
A story has been circulating on social media started by a series of tweets by an organization known as “USA Today” that claimed that nurses were leaving hospitals across the United States due to “Unsafe Work Conditions”.
They cite a nurse, Bonnie Castillo, as having a simple “solution”:
USA Today also then claims that “Long before the pandemic, hospitals staffed at bare-bone levels to maximum profit, rather than at the level need to safely care for patients and the severity of their conditions”.
Second source reality check: According to Becker Hospital Reviews, hundreds of “healthcare workers” are leaving individual major hospital systems over vaccine mandates:
“Henry Ford is among the latest health systems to lose employees over noncompliance with mandates.”
“The departures — announced one week after New York state’s mandate took effect requiring healthcare workers get at least one shot by Sept. 27 — included about two dozen leaders at the management level, or above, and represent under 2 percent of Northwell’s employees. With the departures, Northwell is reporting a 100 percent vaccinated workforce”
- 10/7/2021 “Workers sue Louisiana’s largest health system to block vaccination mandate”
- 10/6/2021 “Kaiser suspends 2,200 unvaccinated employees”
- 9/21/2021 “Employee resignations, declined job offers linked to vaccination mandate, UNC Health says”
- 9/20/2021 Risk of nurses leaving too high to mandate vaccine, says Ballad Health CEO
- 9/17/2021 “125 unvaccinated employees leave IU Health”
Third Source Reality Check: FierceHealthcare.com published a list started on Sept 24, 2021, last updated on October 8, 2021 that reports the number of employees that have left 31 hospitals over vaccine mandates.
Fourth Source Reality Check: Kaiser Permanente Sued After Instituting Vaccine Requirement
“USA Today” has a history of spreading incorrect information on social media, especially about issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in February, 2021, USA Today incorrectly reported that the US CDC was not inflating COVID-19 deaths. They also incorrectly reported that I spread misinformation in a speech I gave in Harrisburg, PA. In reality, USA Today had cited another source of misinformation that had failed to note the date of my speech and who updated their “fact check” after I pointed out to them that they had misunderstood the context of my correct claim on the 21%. The study to which I was referring did, in fact, report a 21% increase in serious adverse events in recipients of the Moderna vaccine. USA Today cited a source that misapplied that rate to another, later study.
Related: About that 21% – Fact-Checkers Take Note (jameslyonsweiler.com)
Reality: Nurses and other ethical medical professionals are leaving unethical medical facilities due to vaccine requirements. Staffing shortages are, in fact, the direct result of vaccine requirements. If conditions in hospitals have now become “unsafe” due to staffing shortages, as has been alleged, the vaccine mandates are the root cause.
POPULAR RATIONALISM RULING: MOSTLY FALSE.
WHAT IS FALSE: USA Today is misleading its readership and the public on the important role of vaccine mandates are having in driving ethical physicians and medical professionals from unethical hospitals who have implemented vaccine requirements as a condition of employment. Also, USA Today failed to report that OSHA has yet to file a final ruling that protects employees from lawsuits over dismissals. To date, OSHA has only published an guidance and an exploratory analysis in the Federal Register.
WHAT IS TRUE: USA Today correctly reported that hospitals put profits before staff safety and patient wellness. The claim “Long before the pandemic, hospitals staffed at bare-bone levels to maximum profit, rather than at the level need to safely care for patients and the severity of their conditions” is true. After the Ebola outbreak of 2014, hospitals were funded to create readiness programs for the eventuality of a major pandemic coming to the United States. They implemented conditional workflows, including patient in/patient out pattern.
The public was asked by the US Government to give healthcare two weeks to get ready for the patients. Early on, we knew which co-morbid conditions meant that a case of COVID-19 was likely to be severe COVID-19. Hospitals have received trillions of dollars in Federal funds. Instead of working on a readiness program for COVID-19, patients who test positive have been sent home to serve as incubators of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These patients have not been informed of readily available, effective protocols for in-home ambulatory care that reduce patient mortality risk.