Bob Lonsberry

Bob Lonsberry

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LONSBERRY: Time to Lift Hochul Vaccine Mandate

    The governor of New York suspended her healthcare-worker booster mandate set to go into effect today because of a widespread resolution within the hospital and nursing home communities to ignore it.


               With worker shortages already at a critical level, the prospect of losing an additional 20 percent of available staff was more than the system could take.


               And so she blinked.


               Friday afternoon, less than three days before another draconian mandate went into effect, the megalomaniac in chief backed down. Rather, she of the daily press conference had her health department do the actual white-flag waving.


               It turns out that another useless shot wasn’t essential after all.


               And it turns out that the willingness of hospitals and nursing homes to grab their ankles is not limitless.


               Employees or administrators at four upstate New York hospital systems have told me confidentially that through last week all had discussed resistance scenarios in which their organizations would simply ignore today’s mandate. All were driven to this by the hard reality that obedience to one more tyrannical dictate would crash their systems and endanger their patients.


               Healthcare administrators are accustomed to obsequiousness to government dictates. They have been the mouthpieces of the covid occupation and willing partners in all of the state’s misguided mandates. Certainly, many of them agree with the progressive power grab which the manipulation of covid has empowered. But all are fully aware of Albany’s ability to crush any who dare resist or drag their feet. From certifications to inspections to massive Medicaid dollars, hospital administrators know exactly who the boss is.


               But facts are facts.


               And bad leaders are bad leaders.


               And the occupant of the governor’s mansion is a bad leader.


               And so it was that with just 72 hours left, employees didn’t know if they would still have a job and administrators didn’t know if they would still have a staff when Sunday turned into Monday.


               That’s the sort of last-minute zigging and zagging which so bedevils the people all across New York who have to dance to Krazy Kathy’s tune. It’s also the sort of decision that proves her covid mandates are based in arrogance and lust for power, not science or medical benefit.


               Here’s what I mean.


               The reality is that the currently used vaccines do nothing to slow the spread of currently circulating covid. You can be fully vaccinated and still both catch and spread covid. Further, the currently used vaccines lose effectiveness between two and four months after inoculation. Thus the call for boosters – which themselves lose effectiveness after four months.


               Boosters are a good idea in order to extend the prophylactic therapeutic benefit of the covid shots. While they don’t keep you from getting covid, they do have a good potential to limit the severity of your symptoms. That is certainly worthwhile, and the reason I personally chose to be vaccinated and boosted.


               But they have nothing to do with stopping the spread of covid or, more specifically, to stop healthcare workers from catching or spreading covid at work.


               Boosters are irrelevant to the spread of disease. So demanding boosters of a worker in order to stop the spread of the disease is insane.


               Just like requiring the vaccine for the same reason.


               Which gets back to the governor’s last mandate.


               In the fall, she pushed tens of thousands of healthcare workers out of the field – and precipitated the current staffing shortages – by imposing a covid vaccine mandate. Nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, CNAs, the people who clean and maintain hospitals, all lost their jobs, careers and livelihoods by gubernatorial order.


               Kathy needed to show she was the big dog and frontline workers who had gotten us through the worst year and a half of the pandemic were her targets of opportunity.


               It is impossible to overstate the damage done by her mandate, to the lives and families of truly heroic people, and to the effective operation of the nursing homes and hospitals where they had worked.


               And now we know it was all for nothing.


               And now we know that people who are just as communicable as the displaced workers are OK to work in healthcare facilities.


               Which means that the vaccine mandate must go away.


               Kathy blinked once, and she can blink again.


               Ego and spite are the only justifications for the vaccine mandate, there is no science or medical benefit in it.


               It’s time for it to go away.


               It’s time for these wonderful people to come back to work. It’s time to restaff our hospitals and nursing homes with the frontline heroes who got us through the first year and a half of the pandemic. 

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