Vaccine Mandate Causes NY Health Care Worker Shortage

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CLAY: Buck, we came up with the idea of 15 days to stop the spread back in March of 2020 for those of you who remember that now ironic, I would say, phrase more than anything else ’cause we’re more now whatever it is, 18 months into “15 days to stop the spread.” But in your home city of New York, there is a mandate for vaccines for health care works.

And some of the people that are least interested in getting the vaccine, ironically enough, have worked in health care the longest. They’ve been surrounded by covid the longest, probably. Almost all of these people have had covid would be my guess. Yet they’re talking about having to call in the National Guard now to staff hospitals. The vaccine mandate itself — in an incredible irony — might end up leading to New York hospitals being overrun and not being able to handle all the patients.

BUCK: It’s not just even New York City. It’s also up in Buffalo, Erie County.

CLAY: Whole state.

BUCK: It’s a statewide mandate, which is why Hochul, the new governor… New governor, not much better the old governor, I gotta tell you. She probably makes fewer inappropriate comments to staffers. But, other than that, you’re getting really the same policies here. And, yeah, she may be calling in National Guard medical personnel. They’re not like deploying the National Guard, obviously. They’re not gonna be setting up sandbags and pillboxes around hospitals.

CLAY: Yeah, right. But that’s a pretty big deal.

BUCK: It’s a huge deal! You’re at a point… They’re telling us all the time about how the huge concern here is hospital capacity will be overwhelmed and because of their insistence on this particular vaccine mandate, they may actually be creating a circumstance where hospitals… By the way, already they’ve suspended in-patient surgeries.

They’re not taking intensive care patients from other hospitals because the Erie County Medical Center… This is out west in Buffalo, which feels more like the Midwest than New York City. But it’s out west in Buffalo and they’ve got 400 employees who refuse to get the shot. At New York City’s New York Presbyterian, which is the largest hospital network in New York, you have hundreds of employees facing termination because they refuse to get the shot.

There’s so much here, Clay, that I think it’s really interesting. First off, the dynamic that this may be creating the very shortage that we’ve been worried about all along but also notice how they never deal with some important parts of this story, like, how many of the 400 in this hospital, 200 in that hospital, thousands across the state — how many of them — have a previous covid infection and therefore have no —

CLAY: I bet it’s massive.

BUCK: — reasonable medical need whatsoever for this shot? What is the likelihood that somebody has been a hospital employee for the last 18 months dealing with covid patients, even just coming in out of the hospital…? I don’t care if you’re a heart surgeon or a janitor. It doesn’t matter. That you haven’t been exposed to covid in a way that you would have had antibodies and, therefore, again no reasonable need.

As we know, they keep trying to slow roll this. The data makes this quite clear, natural immunity up to this point is better than, better than vaccinated immunity. And, you know, they won’t deal with that, either, Clay. And why is the? And how is it that it’s only MAGA hat-wearing, evil Trump supporters who won’t get the shot, comma, “also nurses at some of the biggest hospital systems in the country.” I feel like they might know something.

CLAY: Also, it ties in with the if this were truly Ebola, if this were a plague that if you get it you’re done for, health care workers would be leading the charge to get whatever protection they could from this, and instead… I’m fascinated by this, Buck. We’ve asked this question of our listeners quite a bit in the past because this is the moment where you have to make a choice:

“Am I going to keep my job or am I going to get vaccinated?” How many people are going to actually decide to walk away? And if they do, Buck — here’s my interesting thought — there’s such a demand for health care workers all over the country. Isn’t there a competitive advantage for hospitals to say, “Hey, if you have proof of antibodies from natural immunity, we’ll hire you?”

And/or, “We’re not gonna require a vaccination at all.” From a pure market-based perspective, wouldn’t you try to recruit these health care professionals if you’re in a different state? In other words, it’s not as if these people are not in highly sought after employment possibilities. I understand there are some people out there like:

“Man, I’m gonna get the vaccine, ’cause if I don’t get it it’s gonna be hard for me to make the same salary doing a job like this somewhere else.” I don’t really think that applies for health care workers if they’re willing to move outside of New York, which would further hurt the overall tax base of New York by driving away people who make decent salaries.

BUCK: All true. And have you also noticed you never see any of these doctors, nurses, or hospital staff, really, on TV.

CLAY: They’re terrified to say anything.

BUCK: You could say, “Oh, maybe they want their privacy, whatever.” Um, if you’re at the point where you’re facing termination already, I have a feeling there’d be people who are willing to speak up. It’s not hard for CNN to get doctors who are like triple mask, mask in the shower, mask alone on your tricycle —

CLAY: — every night because my job’s so hard every day for 18 months.

BUCK: That’s not hard. Somehow, they could always find those doctors and nurses that will sit there and say, “Oh, the final words of every patient I’ve had is, ‘I wish I had listened to Anderson Cooper more and gotten the third booster.'”

CLAY: (laughing) “I wish I was as healthy as Brian Stelter.”

BUCK: Yeah. So, you keep hearing this, but I’m sorry, there’s obviously an unwillingness for any of the media to show this side of the story. And there’s also a huge double standard in who are we still, as a society, trying to shame and coerce into getting this shot, and who are we very gentle with and say, “Hey, it would be really great”?

I don’t want to get… ‘Cause of social justice or historical injustice or whatever, I don’t want to be too rough here, but I think it would be really nice if you would get the shot. Some groups get that treatment in the media and from the Democrat Party, and other groups, of course, as you know, I mean, basically the Trump supporters —

CLAY: — states.

BUCK: In red states, it’s, “You’re killing people. You’re murdering people.” No. That’s not true. But nonetheless this is the situation. By the way, did you see the data —

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: — on how the people who are vaccinated —

CLAY: Are more afraid still of covid than the people who are unvaccinated. It’s crazy.

BUCK: — are scared of breakthrough cases, terrified!. This is what we’ve been saying all along. It’s the masked up, vaccinated people who are deriving so many of these policies ’cause they don’t trust the vaccines enough, they’re terrified. They don’t give a crap about what’s happening in red states to people. That’s just meant to shame everybody into compliance so that they in their blue state with their vaccines can feel so much better.

And the unvaccinated in the same poll that Clay and I are talking about were like, “Eh, I’m just not that worried about it.” By the way, for some of them that’s a risk that I would advise against. I would advise against. I would not try to mandate anything —

CLAY: If you’re 80 years old and obese —

BUCK: Please get the shot!

CLAY: — you probably should get the vaccine. Yes.

BUCK: Please. If you’re 75 and have hypertension — if you’re 65 and 40/50 pounds, really, overweight or maybe a little more — please get the shot. But if you’re 35 and you’re sitting around having daydreams about how amazing Brian Stelter is — for Clay’s other comment — ’cause you watch so much CNN and you’re already vaccinated, please stop driving around New York City in a bicycle with a mask on. I’m begging the bicycle people to stop with the masks. There’s a lot of them here in New York. ‘Cause I assure you we’re not talking tandem bikes here, folks. Solo bikes.

CLAY: There’s no doubt. They’re probably saying to you, “Well, why don’t you get off your scooter first.”

BUCK: Scooter people, I’ll have you know, are far less likely to mask up. We’re a more civilized and data-driven bunch, Mr. Travis.

CLAY: I can see it over your shoulder there.

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