Florida doctors hold press conference to raise awareness about the COVID health crisis in the state
A group of more than 70 doctors recently held a press conference in South Florida to speak out against individuals who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Florida faces an unprecedented health crisis as a result of the resurgence of coronavirus, and hospital systems are being inundated with ill patients facing moderate to severe COVID symptoms. The rise in hospitalizations has many hospitals at ICU capacity, making healthcare professionals' jobs nearly unbearable. Now, they are raising awareness about the toll the pandemic is taking on frontline workers, according to HuffPost.
On Monday, August 23, the doctors appeared for a press conference where they verbalized their concerns. "We are exhausted. Our patience and resources are running low," said Rupesh Dharia, internal medicine specialist.
Jupiter Medical Center emergency room doctor Ethan Chapin lamented the "number of people that I'm going to see today who I don't need to, who don't need to be there, who shouldn't have been there in the first place if they'd taken the simple advice of getting vaccinated."
Chapin added, "All we're asking is, in the same way you trusted us to take care of you, your family, your friends, trust us now in what we're telling you: The vaccine is safe, and it can save your life."
Infectious disease specialist Leslie Diaz also emphasized the importance of science and how critical it is in the midst of this pandemic. "The science is there. The clinical trials are in abundance, and we must stop denying the data," Diaz said. "The vaccine still remains the most effective and reliable way to stop this madness."
Dozens of Palm Beach County doctors urge community to get COVID-19 vaccine youtu.be
Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center pulmonologist and Chief of Staff Jose Deolazabal emphasized the importance of "prevention," noting there's been a shift in the age group of his COVID patients. Deolazabal said many of his patients now are younger and "predominantly unvaccinated."
"This has been a real crisis, a real state of emergency," said Deolazabal. For "all the care in the world, let me tell you, prevention is everything."
Neurologist Jennifer Buczyner also offered her take on the pandemic as she admitted that the entire ordeal has been a source of frustration for hospital staff.
It is "so frustrating to all of us," said Buczyner. "Many of these patients have decided not to get vaccinated, but when they're hospitalized, they tell us they wish they had. This emergency is so much bigger than all of us. It's about your parents, your children, your grandparents and our community."
Florida is facing one of the worst COVID outbreaks in the nation. Last week, the state reported more than 150,000 new COVID cases in just a seven-day period. The walk out comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) continues to rail against Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for COVID mitigation.
Editor's note: An original version of this report said doctors staged a "walkout" to raise awareness of COVID-19 cases. In fact, they held an off-duty press conference. The headline and story have been updated to reflect this. More information is available below.
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