Commentary: The Fight Over Hospital Bed Space Is Coming

(Studio 642/Getty Images)

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

On Tuesday, the US set a new record for most new COVID cases in a day, topping 267 thousand, more than double what it was a week ago.  As I noted in Sunday’s column, it seems likely that the US will top 500,000 before this surge subsides, and even if you believe that Omicron is less severe, that is going to tax hospital beds to the breaking point.

As noted on Sunday, roughly 15 percent of the adult population is not vaccinated at all—that is roughly 40 million people—while breakthroughs can and do occur, the vast majority of the cases and most serious cases are with those who are unvaccinated.

With many opposing mandated vaccinations, there is another option—those who decline vaccination are simply not be eligible for hospital beds.  As a story that is starting to percolate nationally suggests, this issue is likely to come to a head sooner rather than later.

The Washington Post tells the story of a man in Iowa, diagnosed with sepsis last month, who ended up dying waiting for a hospital bed.  The family is angry and has gone public with their anger.

The Post reports, “But at a time when unvaccinated covid-19 patients have again overwhelmed hospitals because of the fast-spreading omicron variant, finding an available bed at a large medical center able to give him the treatment he needed proved to be difficult. Weeks was being treated at a small, rural hospital. He had waited 15 days to be transferred to a larger hospital with better treatment options, because facilities throughout Iowa did not have an open bed for him as a result of the latest hospital surge of unvaccinated patients, his children told The Washington Post.”

He finally was able to have surgery but the two-week delay caused his condition to worsen, and he died from complications at 78.

His son “said that the family believes their vaccinated and boosted father was the latest indirect victim of the pandemic — and that he would have survived his sepsis diagnosis if he was immediately admitted to a larger medical center that had an open bed.

“The frustrating thing was not that we wanted him to get care that others weren’t getting, but that he didn’t get care when he needed it. And when he did get it, it was too late,” he said. “The question comes up of: ‘Who was in those beds?’ If it’s people who are unvaccinated with covid, then that’s the part where it really hurts.”

Owenson added: “The thing that bothers me the most is people’s selfish decision not to get vaccinated and the failure to see how this affects a greater group of people. That’s the part that’s really difficult to swallow.”

The COVID vaccination issue has become a political football with people who are anti-vax arguing that things like vaccinations and even mask mandates are a matter of individual freedom.  But there are drawbacks to that approach.

The most obvious is Omicron—and other likely new variants that will emerge and mutate because COVID is still running unchecked through swaths of the population.

But the second impact is resources—if hospitals and health staff are utilizing scarce resources on those who have made a conscious choice to ignore best medical advice, that means that people who have played by the rules may not get the lifesaving treatment they need.  It may be for COVID, but, as this case shows, it could be for something completely unrelated.

Even without these cases, hospitals are going to have to figure out how to address shortages and the issue of vaccination is likely to arise.

The Post reports, Iowa, for example, “is feeling the effects of unvaccinated covid-19 patients overwhelming hospitals amid the current surge. Almost 82 percent of hospitalized covid-19 patients in the state are unvaccinated, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health, and state data shows that more than 85 percent of covid-19 patients occupying beds in intensive care units are unvaccinated.”

The family is of course urging people to get vaccinated, but, in the bigger picture, the solution is probably to change how beds are allocated.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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69 Comments

  1. Keith Olson

    the solution is probably to change how beds are allocated

    So if we’re going to deny a bed to an unvaccinated COVID patient should we also look at denying beds to drug addicts, some guy that comes to the hospital strung out on meth, a person with a bad case of the flu who didn’t get a flu shot, an unvaccinated person who has had COVID already and has natural immunity, etc…

    1. Keith Y Echols

      I’ve always found this reasoning to be stupid.

      Drug addiction is an ADDICTION.  That means that they have no rational control over their actions concerning drugs (at least after they start taking drugs).  The understanding of this kinda comes with the definition of addiction.  Secondly, remind me how many people get infected by someone’s drug addiction?

      1. Keith Olson

        Secondly, remind me how many people get infected by someone’s drug addiction?

        This isn’t about getting infected from someone else’s drug addiction.  It’s about denying someone a bed because they didn’t vaccinate.

        So are you saying that you would be okay denying someone a bed because they refused to put a drug in their body (vaccinate) that they maybe felt might harm them over someone who purposely put a drug in their body that they knew would cause harm, (meth, heroine, etc)?

         

         

        1. Keith Y Echols

          Not IN-fected, but A-ffected . . . and millions.

          I did not miswrite that.  I meant exactly what said; my question was clear.

          Is your point drug addicts should be treated if they are dying?  Yes . . . so not sure your POINT.

          I almost think you’re deliberately missing my point about rational decision making.  Let me make it clearer:  Drug Addicts = no rational decision making.  Anti-Vaxxers = rational decision making.  STUPID rational decision making but rational to them.  Therefore their situation and what they impose on others is due to willful ignorance and stupidity.  Therefore because of their rational and intentional actions they should have the least priority for scarce medical services.

        2. Ron Oertel

          At some point, “rational” (future) drug addicts made a “rational” decision to use addictive drugs, before they become addicted.

          For that matter, some criminals make a “rational” choice to inflict harm upon others.  So do those who drive recklessly, etc.

          I see no difference between those who make decisions like that, vs. those who don’t want to inject a foreign substance into their bodies. Both are decisions which can impact others.

          If anything, “morality” might favor the latter.

          There is no reasonable manner in which to administer health care based upon subjective moral judgements.

          Of course, those with the most money usually don’t have this problem, regardless of morality.

           

           

        3. Keith Y Echols

          I see no difference between those who make decisions like that, vs. those who don’t want to inject a foreign substance into their bodies. Both are decisions which can impact others.

          Addicted: adjective.  physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects.  

          Other than the initial decision to take drugs.  The rest is not rational nor a true decision.

      2. Alan Miller

        I’ve always found this reasoning to be stupid.

        What reasoning exactly?

        Drug addiction is an ADDICTION.

        True.

        That means that they have no rational control over their actions concerning drugs (at least after they start taking drugs).

        Mostly true.

        The understanding of this kinda comes with the definition of addiction.

        I don’t think that’s where understanding comes from.

        Secondly, remind me how many people get infected by someone’s drug addiction?

        Not IN-fected, but A-ffected . . . and millions.

        Is your point drug addicts should be treated if they are dying?  Yes . . . so not sure your POINT.

      3. Bill Marshall

        The refusal to consider getting vaccinated, is arguably, a form of ‘addiction’… irony is an individual dismissed Covid (“just a bad cold/flu”, then “came from China”), then directed a super-fast vaccine-producing effort, contracted it, downplayed the vaccine(s) when they became real, urged folk that “it wasn’t necessary”, now ‘suggests’ it might be a rational idea to get vaccinate (in a ‘luke-warm’ sort of way)…

        I posit that some are ‘addicted’, mentally/philosophically/politically, to resisting ANY persuasion, coercion to get vaccinated…

        Yet they take up physician time, ICU beds, and sometimes die, where they likely wouldn’t take up the ICU beds, or die.  Sniffs strongly of ‘addiction’.

  2. David Greenwald

    As opposed to this guy, who did everything right?  You make a choice not to take precautions, there might be consequences for it, it’s not fair to those of us who followed medical advise.

      1. Keith Olson

        Unlikely?  There’s a good chance that will happen if beds were to get denied.  I like how you brush stuff off when it doesn’t fit your narrative.

        I can see the headline now:

        “Racist Policies at Hospital Denies 90 Year Old Black Grandma Bed Because She’s Unvaccinated”

      1. David Greenwald

        Why not use the actual approved drug (which is not Fluvoxamine)? Long term, that might be a solution. But it’s going to take probably six months to impact hospital space in the short term.

      2. Chris Griffith

        The point is there’s many companies that have covid antiviral pills you got Pfizer you got Merck’s oral antiviral molnupiravir and a few other ones out there it’s covid pandemic is starting to wind down but yet the liberal drama queens can’t seem to let go.
         go figure.
        As the old saying goes never let a crisis go to waste.
         
        Just one person’s humble opinion

        1. Bill Marshall

          Merck’s solution, developed in conjunction with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, narrowly passed an FDA advisory panel vote in November, with the company reporting that its pill was 30% effective at preventing hospitalization or death from COVID-19

          Molnupiravir is “not authorized for the pre-exposure or post-exposure prevention of COVID-19” or for treating those hospitalized from COVID-19 because the benefit of the treatment “has not been observed in people when treatment started after hospitalization due to COVID-19”.

          Cite:  FDA authorizes Merck pill molnupiravir to treat COVID-19 – CNET

  3. Ron Glick

    Iowa’s Governor has gone full MAGA about the pandemic. Not vaccinated no problem. No mask no problem. I have a friend who teaches in Iowa and her stories about how the Covid policies there have endangered her are off the charts outrageous.

    That people there are dying to get into a hospital should surprise nobody.

  4. Alan Miller

    it’s not fair to those of us who followed medical advise.

    this is a road we don’t want to go down

    what about obese people?  Wwho did not ‘follow medical advise’ – and end up in the hospital for a variety of complications from that?  Not to mention, obesity is one of the leading factors in turning The Rona into a deadly outcome.  Should we deny hospital beds to overweight/obese people over a certain body mass who ‘didn’t follow medical advise’ took up hospital beds.

    I could do another example, then another, then another . . .

    this is a road we don’t want to go down.

    1. David Greenwald

      So if it’s not a road you want to go down, how do we deal with the problem of space in hospital rooms as COVID cases spike to half a million a day? No, there is no comparable with other types of patients in terms of capacity issues, it’s a red herring argument.

        1. Bill Marshall

          Triage like always . . . sickest get treated first.

          Yes.  Not first come, first served… best insured/least insured… REAL triage

          So, if a vaccinated/unvaccinated Covid patient is in an ICU bed, at a facility where all the nearby ICU beds are full, and a twelve year old child, injured as a result of a motor vehicle crash presents, who “needs” the ICU bed to survive, then I’d be OK with the Covid patient being “bumped” out of the ICU bed.  Particularly if they were unvaccinated, didn’t mask, etc.

          No moral problem with that at all… an innocent vs. a reckless…

    2. Alan Miller

      ANOTHER ROAD we don’t want to go down . . . forcing people to put stuff in their bodies they don’t want in their bodies.  You can’t go to public events?  Fine.  Your employer says you can’t work here anymore?  Fine.  Your kid can’t go to public school?  Fine.  Then its a choice, with consequences.  A tough choice, but still not forced jabbings of substances.  I know dozens of NOT-conservatives who live all around you who are just as stubborn as those Trumpies y’all worry about (even though you couldn’t hit a Trumpie if you swung a dead cat all day long in Davis) who don’t have guns and aren’t violent, but would find one and shoot you before allowing you to jab them with the vaccine.

      1. Don Shor

        ANOTHER ROAD we don’t want to go down . . . forcing people to put stuff in their bodies they don’t want in their bodies. You can’t go to public events? Fine. Your employer says you can’t work here anymore? Fine. Your kid can’t go to public school? Fine. Then its a choice, with consequences. A tough choice, but still not forced jabbings of substances.

        Libertarianism doesn’t work when we’re talking about infectious diseases. The right of the government to mandate vaccines was upheld 100+ years ago.

        1. Ron Oertel

           The right of the government to mandate vaccines was upheld 100+ years ago.

          Are you sure about that?

          The government is not “mandating vaccines”. There are no teams of medical professionals forcibly vaccinating anyone.

          I’d suggest that all of the “preaching to the choir” does nothing but increase frustration for those so wrapped-up in what others do (or don’t do).

        2. Bill Marshall

          Respectfully, ‘mandated’, ‘forced vaccination’ is drifting seriously off topic… it could go to ‘forced’ experimentation with syphilis drugs/inoculating with syphilis (Tuskegee), even forced ‘sterilizations’ of those considered mentally incompetent (lest their progeny would be a burden to society)… if y’all want to “go there”, I’m game… guns blazing…

          Logical consequences of one’s actions/inactions, triage, ICU capacity would be more on-topic.

          The unvaccinated (if not medically ill-advised), the un-masked, etc., should have to deal with their illness, if it occurs… without the burden of their care for reckless judgement falling on others… via taking up needed ICU beds, or driving up medical insurance rates… perhaps resistance/ignoring Covid protocols, science, should be considered “nature’s way of weeding out the mentally incompetent”… but not on my nickel…

           

        3. Ron Oertel

          Bill:  Your position could theoretically be extended to a host of other scenarios, including treating accident victims (based upon/qualified by their use of seat belts or helmets, or if they were engaging in excessive speed / reckless driving), accidental overdoses (especially illegal drugs), chronic alcoholism, attempted suicides, those engaging in crime in which they themselves become injured, . . .

        4. Ron Oertel

          I skimmed through Hiram’s Wikipedia source, but cannot determine if this gives the government the right to force vaccines (outside of particular contexts, such as employment). And/or, to what degree.

          If so, then it’s a case of “Your papers, please” (e.g., inside of your own home, out in wilderness areas, or anywhere).  Dr. Mengele, are you listening from “up there” (or “down there”)?

          If they can force it, this can lead to some unholy alliances between pharmaceutical companies, and the government. (As if that wasn’t already somewhat/possibly true.)

           

        5. Alan Miller

          Libertarianism doesn’t work when we’re talking about infectious diseases.

          Not sure what you meant by ‘libertarianism’, but maybe I’m too inside the picture to see the frame.

          Are you advocating that people be rounded up and force-poked?  I don’t see that going well.  Unless you’re into civil war.

          Now, should those people be allowed into certain public spaces?  No.  I do approve of passports.  Your choice not to vaccinate, but those same people must be responsible to others.

          Really doesn’t matter, many people in Davis are ignoring all common sense.  Leave Davis and it’s a free-for-all, mask-for-few.  Mandating minimum wage workers to check vaccine without a passport is insane, and faking vaccine cards is a piece of cake.

          I don’t know if your contention about the government being able to poke everyone is true or not, but they sure aren’t doing it and my bet is they know better than to try.

      1. Alan Miller

        I’m not sure what “behavior threatening public health policies” even means.  Is being obese communicable like a virus?  No.  The behavior leading to it could spread, and certainly has in the U.S. over the last few years.

        https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity

        Metaphorically if not literally like a virus.

        The point was that obesity is one of the leading co-morbidities with The Rona.  So by being obese, a person is more likely to be hospitalized with The Rona and take up hospital beds.  Therefore, should they be denied hospital beds?  Not getting vaccinated, though not usually classified that way, is also a co-morbidity.  The point wasn’t about turning the obese away, the point was not to turn the unvaccinated away, the premise of the article.

        1. Keith Olson

          Oh Jesus….unless I’m force feeding Haagan Dazs to everybody I come in contact with….then obesity isn’t a communicable disease.

          You don’t seem to get it.  It’s not about someone spreading COVID if they have to go to the hospital.  It’s about denying someone a bed if they aren’t vaccinated.

          1. David Greenwald

            Actually it’s about distributing an increasingly scarce resource caused in part by a group of people’s conscious choice not to follow medical advice. 87 percent of all hospitalizations from COVID right now are among unvaccinated. Alan Miller wants to argue for triage, triaging for people based on vax status for those without a valid medical excuse is a form triage. I agree with Robb Davis that there is a failure of the medical system on a number of levels, but disagree with him that there is might come a time when we have to make the call that scare medical resources are being sucked up by people being willfully reckless with regards to COVID (and no, right now, there is no other valid comparable to covid in terms of capacity issue).

        2. Keith Y Echols

          You don’t seem to get it.  It’s not about someone spreading COVID if they have to go to the hospital.  It’s about denying someone a bed if they aren’t vaccinated.

          It’s about certain people directly causing a problem for everyone else (infecting others) because of their behavior and contributing to the overall problem of scarce medical resources.  Those people should be at the bottom of the totem pole.

    3. Olivia Campbell

      Typical false, shallow, victim-blaming rhetoric, with no understanding of the psychological, environmental, and financial factors that so often lead to obesity. Obesity is just one by-product of all the structural inequalities that existed long before covid but that are now making covid so much more catastrophic, particularly for marginalized populations.

  5. Robb Davis

    This must not, cannot, and will not happen. Elective surgeries and procedures will be stopped first (as they are today in CT). Elective does not mean “plastic surgery” or the like. These operations and procedures ease pain, enable healthier living, and deal with chronic diseases. Putting them off could increase the risk of death, but they are not acutely life-threatening by their nature.

    Next, as suggested by others, triage for treatment will occur, and it will focus on the sickest. However, and I stand to be corrected, there is a level of illness that will not be “triaged in.”  My dad was not placed in a hospital at the end of his life, though there were a few things they could have done to prolong his life. He went to hospice.

    The bottom line is that we cannot (nor do I believe we will) withhold treatment due to vaccination status. It is a place we do not want to go and dare not go.

    Still, the fact that we are having this discussion reminds us of the colossal public health failure we have created in this pandemic. This is a time to step back and re-examine our commitment to public (and preventive) health rather than our “all-in” approach to a pure bio-medical/curative-focused model. That model has failed.

    1. Don Shor

      We’ve already seen what hospitals do when they have to do this. They use hallways, erect tents in parking lots, shuttle patients across town to less-impacted facilities, delay non-essential procedures. They get through the immediate crisis, and more health care professionals burn out. I don’t believe hospitals can turn people away, nor can doctors refuse to treat. What got the person there isn’t relevant, it’s how severe the condition is that is presented.
      What’s amazing and disheartening is that this emergency, when it happens, isn’t sufficient to get people to vaccinate.

    2. Alan Miller

      The bottom line is that we cannot (nor do I believe we will) withhold treatment due to vaccination status. It is a place we do not want to go and dare not go.

      When Alan Miller and Robb Davis agree on something, the world should pause and assume it is the word of God.

  6. David Greenwald

    Meanwhile we passed 300,000 per day yesterday and have not really felt the full impact of Omicron yet.

    Actually that’s just the seven day average, the actual number of new cases was 488,000 yesterday, twice what it was in January.

  7. Olivia Campbell

    Re: prison staff vaccination: First of all, most California prison guards are not under a mandate because the CCPOA has bullied and bribed their way around it. The one active health order that mandates vaccines for prison staff without a testing alternative only applies to those who work in healthcare settings, and even those workers are grossly out of compliance. Second, even though there isn’t an official mandate for incarcerated people, they do face consequences for not getting vaccinated (which, by the way, the majority of them have… at much higher rates than the guards). CDCr issued a memo on Christmas Eve stating that even the people who have approved religious and medical exemptions will not be able to participate in in-person visitation. Meanwhile, guards get exemptions and face no restrictions at all. Third, there would be much less risk to the incarcerated population if all prison staff were vaccinated because staff are the main ones bringing covid into the prisons. The incarcerated aren’t out in the community being exposed. The staff are out in the larger communities, interacting with untold numbers of people, and coming back to the overcrowded and poorly-ventilated prison environment to infect their captive population who have no means of escape or even social distancing. Incarcerated people have so little agency over their lives and their circumstances as it is. You will never hear me advocate for anything being forced on them. The onus is on the staff, and the ratio of staff vaccination rates to those of the incarcerated is evidence enough of who has more regard for their own and others’ health and safety.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Second, even though there isn’t an official mandate for incarcerated people, they do face consequences for not getting vaccinated  (which, by the way, the majority of them have… at much higher rates than the guards).

      Do you have actual statistics which support the latter claim?

      I guess this is the “consequence” you’re referring to, in regard to prisoners:

      CDCr issued a memo on Christmas Eve stating that even the people who have approved religious and medical exemptions will not be able to participate in in-person visitation.

      The incarcerated aren’t out in the community being exposed.

      There’s not “new admissions” into that system?

      On a related note, some of us have seen the video in which prisoners appeared to be purposefully infecting themselves with the virus (I believe in 2020).

      The onus is on the staff, and the ratio of staff vaccination rates to those of the incarcerated is evidence enough of who has more regard for their own and others’ health and safety.

      I’d suggest that incarceration itself is “evidence” of who has more regard for others’ health and safety.

    2. Alan Miller

      Re: prison staff vaccination: First of all, most California prison guards are not under a mandate because the CCPOA has bullied and bribed their way around it.

      Well I totally disagreed with your earlier comment (or your comment of my comment, I think), but I fully agree with you here.  I am against vaccine mandates, but that doesn’t mean you get to keep your job.  No forced jabs, but if you endanger others and not- vaccinating is more important to you, find another job or live on the dole.  Employers of those in public setting should be able to mandate their employees vax, and a prison population isn’t ‘public’ strictly but it’s a mass of people in a small space so it applies.  The unions should be ashamed.  Actually all public sector unions need to be abolished.

  8. Olivia Campbell

    There is one important aspect of rationing healthcare that has been overlooked here. In the early days of the pandemic, many states implemented crisis standards of care that excluded people with certain disabilities from receiving healthcare or ventilators in the event of a shortage. The disabilities that were targeted included cystic fibrosis, mobility impairments, and intellectual disabilities, and some of the protocols even called for personal ventilators to be ripped away from disabled people and given to nondisabled people. A few groups filed complaints, and a lot of those standards were altered. But I guarantee you they’ll bring those protocols back before denying care to anti-vaxxers who wilfully endanger themselves and others. Even now people with disabilities are being pressured to sign DNR’s in some places. Now, I’m not going to sit here and debate the sick, utilitarian practice of determining a person’s value and worthiness of survival based on false perceptions about their quality of life. I’m all too aware of how many people are either supportive of or indifferent to that barbarity. The point is, that’s what’s going to happen first. Vaxxed vs. unvaxxed has become too politicized. No crisis standard of care will touch it.

  9. Ron Glick

    “First of all, most California prison guards are not under a mandate because the CCPOA has bullied and bribed their way around it.”

    No doubt an unintended and outrageous consequence of the recall.

    1. Keith Olson

      No doubt an unintended and outrageous consequence of the recall.

      Ha, ha, shifting blame to the recall.

      Like the Gov was forced to take their money.

      How about blaming the actual person who kowtows to the prison guard unions?

      That would be Gov. Newsom

      1. David Greenwald

        Why can’t the answer be both?  The recall created at least for a time political threat which changed political calculations for the governor – those calculations now have consequences.  He made those calculations, but to pretend that the recall didn’t alter political dynamics for a time, is silly.

        1. Keith Olson

          No one forced the Governor to take that money.

          He took the money on his own free will, blaming the recall is just a diversion.

          That’s like someone blaming candy bars because it caused them to go off their diet.  Now that’s “silly”.

        2. Bill Marshall

           He made those calculations, …

          True story…

          Goes to lack of ethics, morality, integrity… Newsom lacks all three.  At a personal level, not just political…  he’d be the same if he was a conservative Republican, and he’d probably “have an epiphany”, and go there, if it suited his purposes… he posits, “It’s not what I can do for the people of California, it is what they can do for me”… not in his words, but his actions…

          He is a chameleon…

  10. Alan Miller

    Obesity is just one by-product of all the structural inequalities that existed long before covid but that are now making covid so much more catastrophic, particularly for marginalized populations.

    What in God’s name does any of what you just said actually mean?  You can say those words about any subject and it’s true but when you say it about everything it loses it’s meaning.

    Typical false, shallow, victim-blaming rhetoric, with no understanding of the psychological, environmental, and financial factors that so often lead to obesity.

    Y’all are focusing and freaking over the obesity part and not on my point.  Obesity is one of many co-morbidities.  I am using it as an example – stop fixating on it, substitute whatever co-morbity you wish.  It is either a medical condition or a behavior or a mix of both.  I know a few people who have legitimately been told by their doctors not to get vaccinated due to health issues.  So not being vaccinated can be a medical issue.  In most cases it is a belief system or politically motivated.

    Once doctors are withholding treatment, not due to medical need, but because of what politicians are ordering them to do, all hell is going to break loose.  Doctors are not all Democrats, and not all anti-vaxxers are Trumpkins.  You can hate on the government-fearing types all you want, be they Trumpies or Tree Huggers, but bring that into medicine?  Are you all freaking out of your minds?  Not to mention, doctors will start giving medical exemptions for vaccinations that aren’t legit, but political, just like the old 420 pass.

    KO(BP) brought up a great point yesterday.  What about the black grandma who is refused treatment?  If you didn’t get his point, black people are disproportionally less-likely to take the vaccine, I have read due to distrust in government and some grotesque experiments conducted in the past.  Do you want this very ill grandma refused treatment because of her belief system that lead her not being vaccinated?  I certainly don’t!

    You can point all you want to red states and the statistics on vaccination and illness and it’s all true.  Coming down from 40,000 ft., there are similar spikes in un-vaccinated poor communities of color, also largely due to belief systems.  Are you really prepared to make that call that those in disadvantaged neighborhoods who aren’t vaccinated due to their beliefs shouldn’t be treated when the hospitals are filled?  Or should those people be treated because the reason for their beliefs gets a pass, but white Trumpie anti-vaxxers shouldn’t be treated?  Then you are judging why they aren’t vaxxed and prioritizing their treatment due to their political beliefs, and at that point it’s all political and you just want to see Trumpies die for their beliefs.

    Do you not see that politics cannot be brought into medical decisions?  That is a road we cannot go down.  We cannot!

    1. Keith Olson

      Or should those people be treated because the reason for their beliefs gets a pass, but white Trumpie anti-vaxxers shouldn’t be treated?

      You know that’s where some want this to go but they just can’t say it out loud.

    2. Ron Oertel

      What you’re witnessing (in regard to the theoretical “black grandma” example) is a “belief system” itself.

      That is, a belief that systemic racism is what caused the “black grandma’s” belief.  As such, “systemic racism” is to blame, and the black grandma has no responsibility for her own belief.

      It’s also what’s behind the effort to excuse those who don’t register their cars, etc.

  11. Olivia Campbell

    Okay, apparently I don’t know how to do this blockquote thing. Yes, the vaccination data for the incarcerated and prison staff is publicly available. Yes, people are being admitted into the system. In fact, the prison that is experiencing the largest outbreak (150+) is a reception center. Go figure. The incarcerated are also being transferred from one institution to another–which only exacerbates the problem. I have no knowledge of a video of incarcerated people purposely trying to infect themselves with covid. I do, however, have knowledge of prison guards purposely coughing around incarcerated people, refusing to follow safety protocols, and deliberately moving both themselves and the incarcerated around the prisons, hoping to hasten the spread of the virus so that herd immunity will be achieved. Never mind the lives lost in the process.

     

    I completely agree that Newsom would be the same despicable excuse for a human being if he were a conservative and that he is equally responsible for the danger faced by the incarcerated from unvaccinated staff. In fact, it is the response of the government and the courts to this catastrophe that has just about persuaded me to chuck any political label because most politicians are greedy, powerhungry monsters who would sell out their constituents in a second. And that’s also why I make no distinctions whatsoever in my contempt for all anti vaxxers who don’t have a 100% legitimate medical consideration. I understand the reasons for the hesitancy among people who have horrific histories around vaccines and experimentation. But, as has been said so often in the past two years, these are unprecedented times. There’s really no gentle way to put it. Sometimes you have to overlook your own fears and traumas for the good of the people around you. That should be an issue of common decency and consideration, but instead it’s been turned into just another political debate. Y’all have to understand… prison advocacy is all I do. So I’m mostly seeing the anti-vax issue through that lens. The unrelenting opposition of CDCr and CCPOA to protecting the people under their “care”, the complicity of the Newsom admin and the courts, the lack of compliance with the one surviving mandate for staff who work around the most vulnerable incarcerated people in the entire state, the constant rumors and threats of new outbreaks… and my sympathy and sensitivity are pretty much gone. I’m basically a misanthrope at this point. So, I’ll say it out loud, if care has to be rationed, let the ones who made their own bed lie in it.

        1. David Greenwald

          All your links refer to the same date, same time.  Notice the story was not followed up, there was no investigation, no finding. Moreover, that is as far as I can tell, THE ONLY STORY OF THAT SORT. It’s pretty telling there was a several week trial at San Quentin, at no point was the accusation raised there or anywhere else in a court of law with all of the lawsuits and allegations filed against jail and prison authorities.

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