Friday morning press conference discusses medical freedom and vaccine mandates

EASTON, Md. – Friday morning, healthcare workers, teachers, community members, and leaders gathered for an open discussion at the Talbot County Community Center to discuss vaccine mandates for health care workers and the repercussions they can have.

Back in September, healthcare workers were mandated to get the COVID-19 vaccine in hopes of reducing hospitalizations and deaths. We’re told many refused and were reportedly fired, or chose to leave their job, leaving many hospitals short-staffed.

“We now have this influx of people who have ignored their treatment for the last year and a half, and they’re very critical and we do not have the staff to cover them,” says a local nurse, Kelly Williams. She adds, “But when we have people waiting in the waiting room for over an hour and no one has laid eyes on them, that’s concerning, I’m afraid that something’s going to happen.”

However, the U.S. court temporarily halted the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide, leaving the choice up to hospitals and health organizations. “I’ve been pretty good throughout my year career at leaving my emotions at the door, not so much anymore,” says another local nurse, Steven Pringle.

Pringle tells us, he was proud to work during the pandemic. However, now he and other health care workers in conjunction with the American Alliance for Medical Freedom and say enough is enough. Attendees at the press conference say they want to make sure the government can’t make mandates like this one in the future. “It’s not because of the stress that imposes upon me, I can handle it, it’s because I know we’re not providing as good care to our patient population that we could,” says Pringle.

Meanwhile, Dr. James Kelly, a local Physician, and Psychiatrist, says he has a more ‘extreme’ comparison as to what he considers medical freedom. “Medical freedom is one example of freedom, freedom is the basic thing that separates free men from slaves.” Dr. Kelly adds, “And the difference between slaves and a free person is that you have the ability to control choices in your life.”

Dr. Kelly tells 47 ABC, anyone demanding to inject any substance into someone’s body, is stripping their rights as people.

Meanwhile, Delegate Johhny Mautz says he feels the issue has no place in politics. “The essence of what’s being discussed really needs to be between the workers, the employers, the people who are affected, not the politicians.” Del. Mautz adds, “Public health, public safety is in everybody’s priority it’s the number one thing. But how do we do that and continue to live our lives the way we’ve lived our lives.”

Community members say whether you do or do not support the vaccine mandate, you should voice your opinion to your local legislators.

Nurse Williams also tells 47 ABC, many hospitals are bringing in travel nurses to fill empty positions. She says that isn’t necessarily a problem, but she believes Governor Larry Hogan should focus on the healthcare workers in his state instead.

Categories: Health, Local News, Local Politics, Maryland