Tuesday, October 26, 2021

US NIH funded Wuhan gain of function research

NIH acknowledges US funded gain-of-function at Wuhan lab, despite Fauci’s denials |  Fox News - Andrew Mark Miller:

October 22, 2021 - "The National Institutes of Health is now admitting to funding gain-of-function research on bats infected with coronaviruses at a lab in Wuhan, China despite repeated denials from Dr. Anthony Fauci that U.S. tax dollars were used on the funding. 

"In a letter to Rep. James Comer, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, an NIH official admits that a 'limited experiment' was conducted in order to test if 'spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.' The letter states that the laboratory mice infected with the modified bat virus 'became sicker' than mice that were given the unmodified bat virus. The official, Lawrence A. Tabak, accused the New York City-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, who funneled funds to the Wuhan lab, of not being transparent about the work that was taking place.

"Gain-of-function [GOF] research involves extracting viruses from animals to artificially engineer in a laboratory to make them more transmissible and deadly to humans. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has repeatedly denied any NIH money went to such research in Wuhan, but his organization has given millions of dollars in grant money to the EcoHealth Alliance which funneled at least $600,000 to Wuhan coronavirus research.

"Fauci has testified before Congress stating multiple times that NIH does not fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan, but Paul has insisted that Fauci is lying to Congress and even requested a criminal referral from the Department of Justice. In his questioning of Fauci at a Senate hearing this summer, Paul cited a paper on research about bat coronaviruses and said that U.S. money had essentially gone to the hazardous and controversial research – an assertion Fauci strongly objected to. 'I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement,' Fauci said when pressed by Paul on previous testimony from the doctor that the U.S. did not fund gain of function research in Wuhan. 'You do not know what you are talking about quite frankly, and I want to say that officially.' Pau[l] responded to the [Tabak letter] news on Twitter saying that 'I told you so doesn’t even begin to cover it here.'

"A new book from an investigative Australian reporter says that Fauci reportedly misled the Trump administration on gain-of-function research in China. 'Fauci’s public persona as a cautious, careful medical professional is contradicted by his central role in kickstarting exceptionally fraught gain-of-function research in the United States after the ban introduced in the Obama era, along with his role in funding coronavirus research in China in unsafe laboratories. ... that intelligence agencies suspect may have sparked the pandemic,' Sharri Markson details in her new book, What Really Happened In Wuhan.  In September, leaked documents obtained by private research group DRASTIC 'completely contradict' claims made by both China and Fauci about the reality of gain-of-function research being done inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology that may have caused the coronavirus pandemic, according to a former State Department COVID-19 investigator.... 

"Fauci's NIAID told Fox News in a statement that the doctor has been 'entirely truthful.' 'Gain of function is a broad term,' the statement said. "The research that requires increased oversight under the HHS P3CO Framework is that which is reasonably anticipated to create, transfer or use potential pandemic pathogens resulting from the enhancement of a pathogen’s transmissibility and/or virulence in humans (ePPP). Drs. Collins and Fauci have made clear in numerous public appearances that the research in question did not fit this definition, and nothing in the last research progress report changes that fact.... 

The experiment described in the final progress report provided by EcoHealth Alliance was testing to see if spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.... The research plan for the grant was reviewed in advance of funding and was determined ... not to meet the definition of enhanced potential pandemic pathogen (ePPP) research because the bat coronaviruses used in this research have not been shown to infect humans and the experiments were not reasonably expected to increase transmissibility or virulence in humans.... NIAID reviewed the progress report and has determined that the research described in the progress report would not have triggered a review under the HHS P3CO Framework because the bat coronaviruses used in this research have not been shown to infect humans and the experiments were not reasonably expected to increase transmissibility or virulence in humans."

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/nih-acknowledges-us-funded-gain-of-function-wuhan-lab-despite-faucis-denials 

After blogging and rereading this story, I remembered that up until December 2019 Sars-Cov-2 had "not been shown to infect humans" either; meaning that if GOF research had been done on the coronavirus at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (either in its own labs or at the Wuhan Centers for Disease Control) it would not "have required increased oversight" under NIAID's interpretation of the HHS P3CO Framework. - gd

Monday, October 25, 2021

Lockdown of the unvaccinated in Lithuania

Lithuania Launches EU Vaccine Passport to Facilitate Travel | Shengen Visa News: 
June 8, 2021 - "Lithuania has facilitated the travel process for all vaccinated people against the Coronavirus by issuing EU vaccination passports.... Approximately 300,000 Lithuanian residents who either have had the virus or have been vaccinated can obtain the digital certificate.... Based on the current rules imposed by Lithuania’s government, travellers are exempted from additional restrictions upon their arrival if they:

  • received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine
  • two weeks after they have taken the second dose of the Moderna vaccine
  • about two weeks after they received the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine
  • two weeks after they got vaccinated with the only doze of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

"Exempted from the restrictions are also people who have fully recovered from the virus if the period from the confirmation of their COVID-19 test result does not surpass 180 days. If people do not follow the requirements mentioned above, they will be obliged to present a negative result of the Coronavirus test, not older than 72 hours, upon their arrival in Lithuania. In addition, they will be obliged to comply with quarantine requirements."
Read more: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/lithuania-launches-eu-vaccine-passport-to-facilitate-travel/

Lithuania makes COVID pass mandatory for citizens to enter malls, marketplaces | Republic World - Anurag Roushan:
September 14, 2021 - "On September 13, Lithuania made it mandatory for its citizens to obtain national COVID-19 certificates in order to avail certain services. People who have recovered from COVID in the last 180 days, have tested negative for coronavirus, or have been fully vaccinated are eligible for the 'Opportunity Pass,' according to Xinhua news. It further stated that the Digital COVID Certificate issued by the European Union is also valid. People without such certifications will be prohibited from entering non-essential goods stores, major shopping malls, and marketplaces larger than 1,500 square metres. They would also be barred from beauty salons, gyms, and events with more than 500 attendees. People without national certificates, on the other hand, will still be permitted to visit stores and markets that offer food, veterinary products, animal feeds, pharmacies, as well as stores that sell vision correction products, orthopaedic products, fertilisers, seeds and plants...

"Lithuania began issuing the EU's COVID pass on June 7. With more stringent regulations, the government intends to encourage higher immunisation rates in the country." 
Read more: https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/europe/lithuania-makes-covid-pass-mandatory-for-citizens-to-enter-malls-marketplaces.html

Lithuanian news websites delete public comments to prevent COVID-19 misinformation | Euronews - AFP:
October 21, 2021 - "Lithuania's largest news outlets will remove public comments from their websites to combat COVID-19 misinformation. The organisations announced on Wednesday that viewers would not be able to publish anonymous comments on stories about COVID-19.... 'We are showing solidarity with the state and society in the joint effort to neutralise the misinformation spread by anti-vaxxers,' said Arnas Marcinkus, president of the Lithuanian Online Media Association. 'The success of the vaccination campaign must be our common cause, without excluding the government or the media,' he told AFP.

"Around 71% of adults in Lithuania have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – a higher rate than in many neighbouring countries in Central and Eastern Europe. But cases of infection have increased in recent days, which prompted the government to impose further restrictions in September."
Read more: https://www.euronews.com/2021/10/21/lithuanian-news-websites-delete-public-comments-to-prevent-covid-19-misinformation

Lithuania vaccinated ~75% of its adults and instituted a very strict vaccine pass program … | Substack - Alex Berenson:
October 23, 2021 - "For months, Lithuania – once the home of peaceful and surprisingly effective resistance to Soviet tyranny – has engaged in increasingly strict medical fascism. Adults who refuse the Covid vaccine are essentially barred from work, shopping, and public life. Even food shopping and visits to doctors are difficult. Violators face hefty fines.... And the restrictions have worked – to raise vaccination levels, that is. About three in four Lithuanian adults are fully vaccinated, more than the United States and well ahead of most other Eastern European countries.

"Now Lithuania is seeing the rewards! Covid cases and deaths have fallen basically to zero....

"Wait… I think I cut the chart too soon. Hate it when that happens. Here’s the right one....

"3,000 new cases as of yesterday? 100 times the level in July? The equivalent of more than 350,000 in the United States? This can mean only one thing, citizens of Lithuania: You have abused your freedom. Obviously it’s time to tighten the restrictions!"
Read more: https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/lithuania-vaccinated-75-of-its-adults

Sunday, October 24, 2021

AIER responds to anti-GBD screed in BMJ

Medice, cura te ipsum | British Medical Journal (letter to the editor):

September 16, 2021 - "In their essay 'Covid-19 and the new merchants of doubt' (BMJ Opinion, 9/13/21, https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/09/13/covid-19-and-the-new-merchants-of-d...), Gavin Yamey and David Gorski present themselves as defenders of sound scientific principles in the face of 'denialism' related to the Covid-19 pandemic. These authors specifically target the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), and the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) as sources of what they imply is a misinformation campaign about the efficacy of Covid-19 public health measures. Unfortunately, it seems to us that Yamey and Gorski have misrepresented both the GBD and AIER....

"In October 2020, AIER hosted a small academic conference on the costs and consequences of lockdowns with three highly qualified medical scientists, Martin Kulldorff, Sunetra Gupta, and Jay Bhattacharya. These scientists received no compensation for their participation, which came about due to a mutual recognition that the medical, social, and economic harms of lockdowns were being neglected as countries around the world pursued an aggressive lockdown strategy. At the time the evidence of the efficacy of lockdowns was being debated (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.22.20160341v3). This novel approach conflicted with existing public health recommendations for respiratory pandemics from as recently as 2019 (https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/pubs_archive/pubs-pdfs/..., https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/pubs_archive/pubs-pdfs/..., https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/329438/9789241516839-en...).

"During the conference, journalists including science writer David Zweig, Forbes’ John Tamny, and Jeanne Lenzer, who reported it for The BMJ (https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3908), conducted a wide-ranging question and answer session with the scientists, which AIER videotaped for release to the public (https://gbdeclaration.org/video/). At the conclusion of the conference, the scientists drafted the GBD as a general statement of public health principles, calling for an end to lockdowns and outlining an alternative strategy of “focused protection” for vulnerable communities (https://gbdeclaration.org/focused-protection/). While AIER is proud to have hosted the conference that produced this document, its text and principles originated entirely with the scientists - indeed, the idea for a general letter came about spontaneously on the afternoon of October 4 as the conference drew to a close.

"Yamey and Gorski’s allegations of fossil fuel and tobacco company interests in AIER are unfounded. These stem from their misunderstanding of AIER’s financial assets as independently managed by our investment subsidiary, American Investment Services. As with any investment fund, these holdings inevitably include stocks from hundreds of companies, none of which have any bearing on our editorial positions. This would be akin to suggesting that Yamey’s own pro-lockdown position is tainted by Duke University’s multi-billion dollar foundation - built from the tobacco fortune of James Buchanan Duke - or that Gorski’s medical work is ethically compromised by the presence of fossil fuel stocks in Wayne State University’s $400 million endowment. To portray either as a source of financial influence appears to display a misunderstanding of the very nature of investments, which are a way of ensuring an institution’s long-term financial stability - not a payoff from the firms whose stocks are owned.

"Are financial theories about AIER and the GBD really where these authors want to hang their hats? For the record, AIER publishes its own financial reports every year (https://www.aier.org/financials/). Anyone who wants to see where the money comes from, or where it goes can simply navigate to our website and do so. There are no tricks. There is no deception.


Phillip W. Magness
Senor Research Faculty & Interim Director of Research and Education
American Institute for Economic Research

James R. Harrigan
Senior Editor
American Institute for Economic Research

Read more: https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2268/rr

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Dr. Kulldorff responds to anti-GBD screed in BMJ

Covid, lockdown and the retreat of scientific debate | The Spectator - Martin Kulldorff, Coffee House:

October 12, 2021 - "Science is about rational disagreement, the questioning and testing of orthodoxy and the constant search for truth. With something like lockdown – an untested policy that affects millions – rigorous debate and the basics of verification/falsification are more important than ever.... But with lockdown, science is in danger of being suppressed by politics. Lockdown moved instantly from untested theory to unchallengeable orthodoxy: where dissenters face personal attack. Understandable on social media perhaps, but it has now crept into the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in a recent article about the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD).  

"The GBD, which I wrote, together with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya [of] Stanford and Dr. Sunetra Gupta [of] Oxford, argues for focused protection. Rather than a blanket lockdown which inflicts so much harm on society, we wanted better protection of those most at risk – mindful that Covid typically poses only a mild risk to the young. For saying so, we are smeared as 'the new merchants of doubt' – as if scepticism and challenge is regarded by the BMJ as something to be condemned. The BMJ article is full of errors that ought to have never found their way into any publication. Here are some examples:

  • My colleagues and I are described as ‘critics of public health measures to curb Covid-19’. On the contrary, throughout the pandemic we have strongly advocated better public health measures to curb Covid-19 – specifically protection of high-risk older people, with many ‘clearly defined’ proposals. The failure to implement such measures, in our view, has led to many unnecessary Covid deaths.
  • We are described as ‘proponents of herd immunity’ which is akin to accusing someone of being in favour of gravity. Both are scientifically established phenomena. Every Covid strategy leads to herd immunity. The key is to minimise morbidity and mortality. The language, here, is non-scientific: herd immunity is not a creed. It’s how pandemics end.
  • It says we have ‘expressed opposition to mass vaccination’. Dr. Gupta and I have spent decades on vaccine research and we are all strong advocates for Covid and other vaccines. They are among the greatest inventions in history. To falsely credit the anti-vaccine movement with support from professors at Harvard, Oxford and Stanford is damaging for vaccine confidence. This is unworthy of a medical journal.
  • The GBD is referred to as a 'sophisticated science denialism’. Note here how something that challenges an orthodoxy is described as anti-science – a label that presumably could have been applied to any scientific innovator who ever questioned a failed orthodoxy. Collateral public health damage from Covid restrictions are real and enormous on cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, backsliding childhood vaccinations, starvation and mental health, just to name a few. It is not the GBD, but those who downplay lockdown harms who should be equated with those who [downplay] the harms of tobacco or climate change.
  • The GBD was not ‘sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) – and I’m pleased to see that the BMJ has at least retracted this claim. We were there for media interviews, with no sponsorship. How did such a blunder end up in print in the first place? The AIER staff did not even know about the Declaration until the day before it was signed, and the AIER president and board did not know about it until after publication. If we had written the Declaration at say, Starbucks, would the BMJ have claimed that it was sponsored by the coffee shop?
  • The BMJ article mentions ‘AIER contributor Scott Atlas’, but Dr. Atlas has never been affiliated with nor written for AIER. Neither have we – unless the BMJ also views us as affiliated with hundreds of universities and organisations that we have visited during our careers or that have reprinted some of our articles. Dr. Atlas was not even aware that AIER had reprinted one of his articles until the BMJ linked to it. 
  • Several AIER employees have gracefully supported the GBD, just like countless other people around the world, but we have never received any money from the AIER. This basic error again exposes how normal checks did not appear to have been applied by the BMJ.
  • The BMJ article ends by saying that my colleagues and I are peddling a 'well-funded sophisticated science denialist campaign based on ideological and corporate interests'. Nobody has paid us money for our work on the GBD, or for advocating focused protection. None of us would have undertaken this project for professional gain: it is far easier to stay silent than put your head above the parapet. As a vaccine developer, Dr. Gupta has connections with a pharmaceutical start-up, but Dr. Bhattacharya and I are among the few drug/vaccine scientists who purposely avoid pharmaceutical company funding to be free from conflicts of interests.
  • "The BMJ attempt to link us to the Koch brothers is an ad hominem attack of the highest order, but failed to mention much closer connections. We all work for universities that have received donations from Koch Foundations, although unrelated to any of our own work. While the AIER has received only a single $68K (£50,000) Koch donation a few years ago, many universities have received multiple, much larger Koch donations, including million dollar gifts to Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Stanford. Since university staff frequently publish in the BMJ, the journal is arguably more closely connected to a ‘network of organisations funded by Charles Koch’ than the AIER.
  • "Many scientists receive research funding from private foundations, for which we as scientists should be grateful. It is hypocritical and discriminatory for the BMJ to single out Dr. Gupta because her lab received limited funds from the Opel Foundation. As one among many examples, Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College were awarded a prize by the Koch-affiliated Mercatus Center's 'Emergent Ventures' program.

"During a pandemic, it is the duty of public health scientists to engage with government officials: to use their expertise to confront what right now is perhaps the biggest single problem facing humanity. It is hard to understand why anyone would criticise that.... If we are wrong, then as scientists we would welcome a scientific discussion on how and where we are wrong.

"The BMJ article urges people to use ‘political and legal strategies’ rather than scientific argument to counter our views on the pandemic. It also calls for people to adhere to the ‘scientific consensus’ as represented by a Memorandum [the John Snow Memorandum - gd] published by the Lancet, a document that questions natural immunity after Covid disease....

"That such an article was published exemplifies the decay in standards of scientific journals. Open and honest discourse is critical for science and public health. As scientists, we must now tragically acknowledge that 400 years of scientific enlightenment may be coming to an end. It started with Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and René Descartes. It would be tragic if it would end up as one of the many casualties of this pandemic."

Read more: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/covid-lockdown-and-the-retreat-of-scientific-debate

Friday, October 22, 2021

New lockdown in Moscow

Moscow prepares for a return to lockdown as covid cases — and deaths — soar | Washington Post - Isabelle Khurshudyan & Mary Ilyushina:

October 21, 2021 - "With Russia enduring its worst wave of the coronavirus pandemic, setting grim records in daily cases and deaths, Moscow announced a lockdown Thursday — a move the Kremlin had previously said it would avoid at all costs.

"Russia joins other countries grappling with how to reintroduce restrictions after doing away with nearly all of them.... Russia — Moscow, in particular — has in the past year regularly introduced measures when new cases have spiked, including a digital pass system for the vaccinated and a curfew for bars and restaurants. But those provisions were often quickly abandoned, in some cases after just a couple of weeks. Mask-wearing compliance throughout the country remains low. More importantly, Russia’s vaccination campaign has stalled at just 33 percent, perhaps because authorities have often touted their success in dealing with the pandemic. Analysts have said that has created mixed messages for Russians as to why they even need to get the shots.

"A new lockdown in Moscow, the city’s first in more than a year, is the toughest step officials have taken since exiting the last one in June 2020. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this month that 'the introduction of lockdowns is an absolutely undesirable scenario' and encouraged regional authorities to consider other methods of stanching the virus’s spread. 

"A day after President Vladimir Putin approved a 'non-working week' from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 to keep most office employees at home, the country’s capital went a step further. Without officially labeling the new restrictions a lockdown, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced that from Oct. 28 to Nov. 7, everything — schools, gyms, restaurants and other nonessential businesses — will be closed, with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies and medical centers. Theaters and museums can continue operating at 50 percent occupancy and with the use of digital codes....

"No major city in Russia has been in a strict lockdown in more than a year. But after recording another record of 1,036 fatalities from the virus in the past day, Russia’s official death toll of more than 225,000 is by far the highest in Europe. It is also believed to be an undercount. Independent demographer Alexey Raksha calculated that excess mortality — seen by analysts as the most reliable indicator of coronavirus deaths — has reached around 750,000, he said in a Facebook post. Raksha’s calculation used figures maintained by Rosstat, Russia’s statistical agency, where Raksha used to work....

"In nationally televised comments Wednesday, an exasperated Putin encouraged Russians to get vaccinated. Russia has several domestically produced vaccines, but none have yet been approved by the World Health Organization. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said Thursday that 'certain technological differences regarding the fullness of the documents and the information provided for our vaccine to be registered' were the reason Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has yet to be approved by the European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency. The EMA is unlikely to approve Sputnik until at least the first quarter of 2022, according to Reuters."

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/moscow-covid-lockdown/2021/10/21/42435f3e-3253-11ec-8036-7db255bff176_story.html

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Pandemic and lockdowns return to Europe

Latvia is first country to reimpose lockdown in Europe’s new Covid wave | The Guardian - Pjotr Sauer:

Wed 20 Oct 20, 2021 - "Latvia has announced a month-long Covid-19 lockdown after an unprecedented surge in infections, becoming the first country in Europe to reimpose far-reaching restrictions amid a new wave of cases in countries across the continent. The Baltic country has one of the highest rates of new Covid cases relative to population in the world, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after ... keeping the virus at bay for months.

“'Our health system is in danger' … the prime minister, Krišjānis Kariņš, said on Monday evening at an emergency government meeting. He said the country’s low vaccination rate was to blame for the surge in hospital admissions. Only 57% of the 1.9 million Latvians are fully vaccinated, well below the EU average of 74%. The government imposed a month-long night-time curfew, from 8pm to 5am, this week and closed schools and all non-essential shops....

"Latvia is the first country in Europe to reimpose a strict lockdown as the fresh Covid wave gathers pace across the continent. The World Health Organization said there was a 7% rise in new coronavirus cases across Europe last week, the only region in the world where cases increased, according to the health body....

"Poland’s health minister, Adam Niedzielski, said on Wednesday the country had experienced an 'explosion of the pandemic in the last two days' and warned the Covid situation was 'becoming very serious'. Poland’s daily number of cases had exceeded 5,000 for the first time since May. Neighbouring Slovakia reported 3,480 new cases on Tuesday, its highest daily tally since the spring, according to health ministry data.

"Bulgaria on Tuesday recorded its highest Covid death rate since late March, and the authorities made vaccine passports compulsory for visiting gyms, museums, cafes and other public places to stop the spread of the virus. In Romania and Ukraine local hospitals have found themselves under intense pressure, as the two countries have been posting record numbers of Covid deaths this month.

"In Russia, which has been reporting record daily deaths and has a vaccination rate dramatically below the EU’s, with only a third of its population vaccinated, a new set of restrictions was announced on Tuesday. In Moscow, unvaccinated citizens aged over 60 were ordered to stay at home for four months and vaccine passports were introduced in several regions.

"Moscow will go into a full lockdown if coronavirus infections continue to increase in the capital, a government order that was sent to businesses in the Russian capital on Wednesday said. The order, seen by the Guardian, would close all non-essential businesses, including restaurants, shopping malls and museums as well as suspend planned medical procedures from 30 October to 7 November. The order said that the lockdown would come into effect if the total number of new coronavirus cases in the capital over the next seven days surpasses the number of infections recorded in the previous week. The measures, labelled as a 'short-term lockdown' in the document, would amount to Russia’s strictest coronavirus restrictions since spring 2020."

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/20/latvia-enters-month-long-covid-lockdown-as-fourth-wave-breaks

Chart courtesy Worldometer

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Mandates, burnout to blame for nursing shortage

Front-line health care worker shortage due to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, burnout | Fox News - Julia Musto: 

October 19, 2021 - "Hospital staffing shortages due to COVID-19 vaccination disputes have continued across the U.S. this month, leaving patients untreated amid surges of the virus' delta variant. Health care workers against vaccine mandates have stood their ground, despite the fact that millions of Americans have been safely vaccinated against coronavirus.... 

"In upstate New York, several maternity staff members resigned from Lewis County General Hospital, worsening an existing shortage and forcing the hospital to stop delivering babies and potentially curtail services in five other departments.... 

"More than 150 Houston Methodist hospital system workers were fired or resigned in June over a vaccine mandate after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning any entity from implementing mandates in the state, according to Houston Public Media....

"In Michigan, approximately 400 workers walked off the job at Henry Ford Health System at the beginning of the month rather than take a required COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Detroit Free Press and an additional 1,900 workers received exemptions from the health system's vaccine requirement. The publication reported that the workers who left made up about 1% of the workforce of 33,000 people, and Reuters reported that dozens of employees had filed a lawsuit against Henry Ford Health System in September.

"Other hospital systems around the country have also gotten pushback on COVID-19 vaccine mandates, leading to employee firings. In July, a study by The COVID States Project said that 27% of health care workers were unvaccinated and NPR reported in September that other research showed the rate of vaccination has been lower among nurses and nursing home aides. There was a widespread shortage of nurses even before the pandemic, according to NPR.

"In a Sept. 1 news release, the American Nurses Association (ANA) – which represents the interests of the nation's more than 4 million nurses – penned a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, calling on the administration to declare the nurse staffing shortage a national crisis and take action.... Health leaders said exhausted nurses are quitting or retiring over the crisis and some are leaving for lucrative temporary, traveling positions. The ongoing pandemic and surges in infections have led to burnout, though issues reportedly extend further back than last year.

"'The current nursing crisis the state of Oregon is facing … has been decades in the making,' Natasha Schwartz, a member of the Oregon Nurses Association Board of Directors, said during a news conference at the beginning of the month. "As we see a small number of nurses potentially leave the profession due to their decision to decline the vaccination, we are also concerned burnout will lead to an even larger number of nurses leaving the bedside – and in Oregon, we will not be able to educate a large enough number of nurses to replace them.' Officials from the Oregon Nurses Association said 60% of nurses at the state’s largest hospital, Oregon Health & Science University, indicated that they are considering leaving the profession entirely.

"In September, an Alabama man ... died following a cardiac event after being turned away by dozens of hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients.... Another man who had suffered a heart attack was also bounced from six hospitals in New Orleans before finding an emergency room that could take him."

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/health/frontline-health-care-workers-shortage-covid-vaccine-mandates-burnout

Also read: Canadian hospitals struggle with staff shortages