As compassion fatigue inches up and public sympathy for unvaccinated patients plunges, we find out that five of Tampa Bay’s major hospital chains have no vaccine mandate. Thousands of their employees remain unvaccinated. If anyone should know the benefit—and flat-out necessity—of COVID vaccination, it’s these health-care officials and their employees. It may meet the approval of Gov. Regene(Ron) DeSantis, but it’s hypocritical, unethical, dumb and bordering on malpractice for hospital officials to call for the public to get vaccinated—but not mandate it for its own people who have to treat the unvaccinated infected by the delta variant. It makes it much more challenging to get to herd immunity when those who should know better can’t hear the call for accountability, common sense and public safety.
Some hospitals, it’s been noted, are worried about employees quitting over mandates. Seemingly not a problem for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital that has mandated vaccinations for its 3,000 employees.
- Florida remains among a handful of states that have not applied for federal food aid, known as the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program. The money—more than $800 million—comes with no mandates or required matching funds. The only requirement: A state willing to address food insecurity, which remains a problem for many Florida children. Rick “No-federal-light-rail-money-from-Obama” Scott probably would agree with the DuhSantis Administration.
- Tallahassee keeps doubling down, whether it’s food help or public health. Latest on the latter is a Department of Health rule that can fine those business and governments $5,000 that require proof of vaccination from the public. It takes effect next week. This is more than whoring out to the Trump and DeSantis base by misappropriating “freedom” and “personal liberties.” This is unconscionable, parallel-universe stuff during a pandemic and all its manifest ripple effects.
By requiring proof of vaccination, businesses and governments are, in effect, requiring a collective conscience and enabling public health. It’s also a subset, ironically, of free-market principles.
Obviously the delta variant would not be superspreading, and Florida would not be known as “hospital hell” if common sense and common good–and not political cartooning and grandstanding–were the foremost government priority. Mortality rates would be lower were it not for Gov. DeathSantis. Florida needs vaccine passports—from bars to cruise liners. What it doesn’t need is career-and-party-first Trump acolytes doing their best to Make America Gratuitously Authoritarian. No, Florida is not post-pandemic; would that it were post-DeSantis.
- “Abort DeSantis”: You know that bumper sticker is coming.