Heartbroken and overwhelmed? Maybe it’s your vaccine mandate

Nine healthcare providers took out full-page ads in newspapers across the state this week to once again shame Minnesotans into taking action to stop the COIVD-19 virus.

We’re heartbroken, we’re overwhelmed, the situation is critical, they wrote.

What they didn’t write is that each of these nine healthcare companies has a vaccine mandate in place for their employees, making it difficult to staff their empty hospital beds.

The fact that they can put out this message blaming Minnesotans for the crisis in their hospitals shows that they have no shame. That fact that no one in the Minnesotan media will call them on it, or at least ask a simple question about how vaccine mandates might be affecting staffing, shows we have a lapdog press more interested in continuing the fear narrative than actually keeping people safe.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that national healthcare providers are rolling back their vaccine mandates because of the devastating affect it’s having on staffing.

Hospital operators including HCA Healthcare Inc. and Tenet Healthcare Corp. as well as nonprofits AdventHealth and the Cleveland Clinic are dropping the mandates. Labor costs in the industry have soared, and hospitals struggled to retain enough nurses, technicians and even janitors to handle higher hospitalizations in recent months as the Delta variant raged. Vaccine mandates have been a factor constraining the supply of healthcare workers, according to hospital executives, public-health authorities and nursing groups.

As usual, Minnesotans have to read national press outlets to find out what’s going on in the world because our local media lack the courage or the curiosity to ask the obvious questions.

Here are the nine signatories listed in the advertisements. You can find details of their vaccine mandates on this convenient list created at MinnPost.com.

J. Kevin Croston, MD
Chief Executive Officer, North Memorial Health

Gianrico Farrugia, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, Mayo Clinic

James Hereford
President and Chief Executive Officer, Fairview Health Services

Kenneth Holmen, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, CentraCare

Jennifer DeCubellis
Chief Executive Officer, Hennepin Healthcare

Marc Gorelick, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Minnesota

Penny Wheeler, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Allina Health

David Herman, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Essentia Health

Andrea Walsh
President and Chief Executive Officer, HealthPartners