On Jan. 24, Sen. Johnson held his second panel discussion on COVID-19 with world renowned doctors and medical experts who provided a different perspective on the global pandemic response. The roundtable, COVID-19: A Second Opinion, discusses the current state of knowledge of early treatment, hospital treatment, vaccine efficacy and safety, what went right, what went wrong, what should be done now, and what needs to be addressed long term.
On Nov. 2, 2021, Sen. Johnson held a panel discussion on vaccine mandates and the consequences and the lack of compassion and response from federal health agencies to those who have experienced adverse events from the COVID-19 vaccine. The panel included doctors, medical researchers, and vaccine injured.
The following charts were shown during the Expert Panel. The data was gathered from the CDC website and CDC's early warning system called VAERS, Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System. The VAERS chart is updated with the most recently data available.
Access the complete timeline of my COVID-19 efforts here.
Vaccine Mandate Stories
Dear Senator Johnson and Congressman Fitzgerald,
I am emailing you today to speak out against the mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for healthcare workers. On July 29th, our hospital leadership team informed all staff that they are required to be vaccinated by November 15th . While I myself am vaccinated, I am currently in a Telegram chat with over 150 hospital employees, who are not vaccinated and fearful of what their future will hold. These staff members are currently spending hundreds of dollars to meet with lawyers to receive counseling on how to complete their medical and/or religious exemptions forms, even though middle management has already informed some of us that the exemptions will be denied no matter what. President Raymond of the Medical College of Wisconsin has also shared this sentiment, stating to some that “religious exemptions will not be allowed and medical exemptions will be few and far between”.
This is an incredibly heartbreaking time for many of us in healthcare. The past 18 months of this pandemic have been incredibly challenging for all of us employees, but we have put aside our individual wishes to prioritize patient care. We have worked tirelessly to provide the best patient care experience to all of our families. We have spent endless hours on the phone, reassuring our families when they have been afraid, anxious or nervous about the unknown. We have sacrificed time away from our families to help manage patient care and cover our individual programs’ needs, as other team members have struggled to juggle the work/life balance. We have all made these sacrifices with one goal in mind- doing what is best for our patients. Now, our hospital leadership is abandoning us, and using our income, ability to provide for our families, provide insurance and benefits, as bargaining tools to force vaccination.
The collusion by the major hospital systems throughout Wisconsin to all have the same mandate is going to create a public health crisis. We have already been facing staffing shortages for months, as the pandemic pushed many healthcare workers from the baby boomer generation into early retirement, and many others have suffered healthcare burnout and have left. We are losing our seasoned healthcare workers, which is leading to less experienced care for our patients. We are seeing less specialized staff in our operating rooms, ERs, ICUs and specialty services. This translates into a lower level of care to our patients. Children’s Wisconsin is already paying staff “bonus bucks” due to our short staffing with nurses, and this will only continue to worsen, as more nurses leave or are pushed out. I greatly fear for the quality of care (or lack thereof) that our patients will see due to the staffing crisis created by these mandates. I greatly fear for how many children will suffer misdiagnoses, delays in receiving care, and medical errors due to these staffing shortages.
I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read my email and for your willingness to help give us a voice. Many of us love our patients and want to stay and care for them, but the hospital and healthcare system executives do not value us.
As an Emergency nurse, I risk losing my job related to my vaccination status. As you know, this violates my rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. I also work as a supervisor of a hospital in Milwaukee, I see the nursing shortage daily and I believe that this state and this country cannot afford to lose any more nurses. If you add up even 10 nurses from every hospital, this could be detrimental and people will have much more to fear than COVID. There will be no one there to take care of their loved ones in an already strained healthcare system. I urge you to support the end to vaccine mandates to retain employment. There are thousands of nurses in Wisconsin already banding together who are against the mandates. Let me say that again, THOUSANDS. Most are willing to be terminated if that's what it takes, this should truly be terrifying. Please let me know what I can be doing on a local level.
Hello Mr. Johnson and team,
I am a hospital employee who is being mandated to get the COVID vaccine. It is still EUA and is still in clinical trials. I have been an RN for 10 years. I finished my Masters this year to teach nursing students at MSOE and Marquette this fall. I am 32 years old. A mother of 2 beautiful little children and I’ve already have COVID in Oct 2020 and have natural immunity. There is NO REASON I should be mandated to receive this vaccine. The mandate does not follow science or our freedoms, not to mention it goes against the nursing code of ethics that I follow on a daily basis. I am asking for your help to help get rid of these mandates, please! I am fearful for what our hospitals will look like if the mandate continues. I am already losing many coworkers.
I’m very concerned regarding mandatory vaccination under EUA (Emergency Use Authorization).
I tested positive for Covid-19 on April 16th, lasted about a week and recovered. My symptoms were like a cold. I recently on 8/11/21 took a SARS-CoV2 Ab, Nucleocapsid test and it was positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV2. The millions of people who have recovered from Covid have natural immunity to this virus, they have totally disregarded this population and are now mandated to receive a vaccination that we do not need. We need to fight for the millions of people who do not need vaccination, and our freedom of choice.
I found out on an email at work that the Covid-19 vaccine was going to be mandated for all employees. This has been so stressful to the point of not sleeping and my hair falling out. They are basically saying either you submit to a vaccine or lose your job. I've really had to do some soul searching at this extremely difficult time in my life. I have always relied on my religious upbringing and my faith in God to see me through hardships I may face in the future. I claimed a religious exemption on advice of lawyers.
As of today, 8/24/21 the director of the hospital has sent out another email. This is word for word states, “With the rapid spread of Delta variant of COVID-19, its crucial for the health and safety of the organization that everyone wears a mask unless they are alone, behind closed doors. Those who have religious exemption must wear a facility supplied face shield".
This email did not address if you claimed a medical exemption, just a religious exemption. I feel they are singling out people who claimed a religious exemption only. I don’t understand why I would be required to wear a different form of protection just because of my religious belief.
This email is to inform you of the current situation in healthcare. I was hired by Children's Wisconsin in 1993 as a clinic nursing assistant. I was proud to work for such a prestigious healthcare system until recently. Two years ago Children's was in great need for Medical Assistants and offered the opportunity to return to school for this certification, tuition paid. I applied and was accepted into the program the end of August 2019. I signed an agreement that stated I would continue to work for them as an MA for two years upon graduation or reimburse my tuition, about $18,000. I graduated with honors from Herzing University in December 2019. Nowhere in the agreement is there language about vaccine status. The agreement was pre-pandemic. Like you, I am Covid recovered, and don't wish to take this vaccine. I plan on applying for a religious exemption (I haven't sent the letter yet). In the last 2 weeks Children's has lost many (I personally know of at least 10) good employees because of this mandate. My concerns are many. If they accept my exemption I will be working in an environment that is short staffed and stressful. If they don't accept it and I still refuse the vaccine they will consider that as a "resignation" and probably sue me for the tuition that they paid. I love working as medical assistant in their Urgent Care, but this issue is becoming a safety hazard as my department alone has lost at least 5 people. I'm lost as to what to do. I feel strongly that these mandates are dangerous to our republic and threaten our freedom. I also feel that in my situation that this is coercion. Any intervention your office can do to stop these mandates will be appreciated by many. I belong to a private group on Telegram of Children's employees (current, and recently quit). By my estimate about 150 employees just from this group either have left already or plan to leave, or they are stuck, like me.
I'm currently fighting my employer, Ascension, in accepting my natural immunity as reason not to get mandated covid vaccination. I have submitted my positive antibody test which was denied as source of proof.
Interesting story, I was part of UW and DHS joint research project tracking antibodies after covid infection. My blood was collected over 9 month period, ending in March. My first 2 results were negative, 3rd was positive which coincided with my recovery after covid. I have contacted UW as June should have been next antibody test and was told DHS stopped research project. I asked why since antibodies were so important before the vaccine was available, he did not have an answer.
I work remotely part time and no longer have any patient facing care. I'm exempt from mandatory flu shot because of my remote status but not covid vaccine. Why?
Please help me! I have study after study after study proving natural immunity. I will not get vaccine as I have successfully recovered. This is what our bodies are designed to do. I will do whatever it takes to fight for my job on natural immunity. This is science.
Thanks to Senator Johnson for being an excellent advocate for common sense!!
Dear Senator Johnson,
I am writing to you to share my concerns as Registered Nurse regarding my observations as follows:
I work in critical care in a large medical center. When SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations began to be administered under Emergency Use Authorization, I expected for hospital staff to receive training regarding serious adverse events and how to report them. This was not done. Most doctors, midlevel providers, and nurses do not know about VAERS and what is required to be reported. On any given 12-hour shift, I am seeing patients be admitted to the ICU within days or weeks of receiving the vaccines after suffering sudden changes in their health status such as CVA’s, Pulmonary Embolus, DVT’s, myocardial infarctions, sudden cardiac arrests, severe thrombocytopenia, altered mental status, encephalopathy with unknown etiology, and new onset of seizures, for example. Doctors have been asked if the vaccines could have caused these sudden events and if they should be reported but they consistently deny any connection and none are reported. The underreporting of serious adverse events following these injections is staggering and is causing serious safety signals with these injections to be missed.
Healthcare workers in hospitals who have sincere concerns regarding the safety of the injections are facing hostility and they are being silenced and intimidated. The hospital I work for has mandated the injections for all staff. They do not wish to see or admit that there is a potential for injury from these injections. Physicians are ridiculing those of us who do not wish to receive the injections and advocate for us to lose our jobs. Those of us who have had Covid and already enjoy a robust immunity are also being forced to take the shots which demonstrates that these mandates have nothing to do with the prevention of infection transmission.
I also have serious concerns that reporting of the vaccination status of patients admitted with Covid is fraudulent. I have seen several instances where a patient was fully vaccinated per the patient’s and family members report, yet the electronic medical record lists the vaccination status as “unknown.” Also, I have seen doctors refuse to allow family members of Covid patients at the end of life to visit unless they are vaccinated. This is not in accordance with the hospital’s visiting policy and is clearly punitive and discriminatory.
Dear Senator Johnson,
I have had one middle-aged female with idiopathic thrombocytopenia and happening within one week of the second injection. She had significant bruising on all 4 extremities.
I also had 1 patient developing Raynaud's phenomenon within 1 week of the second injection.
I have had one elderly lady developing chronic widespread pain for no apparent reason within days of her J&J vaccine, now, 4 months later she still is in pain.
Many of my patients with neurodegenerative diseases, i.e. Parkinson's disease, have significantly declined since receiving the vaccines, much faster than otherwise would have been expected.
I have found that it has become difficult to obtain ivermectin prescriptions for my patients even if they have contraindications for any of the available vaccines. Some of my former colleagues in the allopathic medicine realm do not talk to me anymore because of my different view. I now would be asked by the pharmacist which condition I would prescribe ivermectin for, which is unprecedented an interference in the doctor-patient relationship.
Dear Senator Johnson,
I have had several patients with significant reactions to various vaccines. Most were not severe or life threatening, but some were, including one death. I am also seeing many patients now with Covid, and many have had full vaccination.
63 y/o lady began feeling very bad after her second Moderna vaccine, was nauseated over a weekend, unable to work the next Monday. Later she developed shortness of breath and wheezing and was hospitalized about 2 weeks after the vaccination with severe hypertension, pulmonary edema, heart failure.
84 y/o lady had hot and cold spells, flushing intermittently, generalized tingling feeling in different areas for several weeks. Blood work showed a newly positive ANA of 1:320. She had significant improvement after starting hydroxychloroquine.
64 y/o man awakened with altered mental state (basically a transient global amnesia) about a week after his first Pfizer vaccine. Admitted to hospital for a couple of days where his symptoms cleared completely. TGA is essentially a TIA equivalent.
71 y/o lady with advanced chronic kidney disease but still very functional had her first vaccine on a Thursday, and on Friday was non-verbal, unable to eat or communicate and died 7 days after the jab.
64 y/o diabetic lady had her first Moderna vaccine and seven days later had severe hypoglycemic reactions (very unusual for her).
71 y/o man three days after his second vaccine developed generalized joint pains, especially in his hands (MP joints). A blood test later showed his RA latex to be 113 (normal <14).
Elderly nursing home resident with COPD began feeling achy and nauseated with some confusion a few days after her first shot of the Moderna. A few days later, she had increased dyspnea, requiring more O2 and chest Xray showed signs of heart failure. Eight days after the vaccine, she was admitted to hospital with stroke like symptoms.
One elderly lady developed choreiform movements after her second vaccine.
Another lady developed significantly worse memory issues (according to her daughter) after her second dose.
Dear Senator Johnson,
Small specialty functional medicine practice: 400 active patients
What patients reported to me at their visits.
Irregular menses: multiple times in a month, post-menopausal bleeding:
At least 20 reported within 30 to 60 days after getting vaccine ages 23 to 51
Cerebral vascular events: 2
71 y.o. female w/ cancer history had TIA within 48 hours after first vaccine
53 y.o healthy male had CVA at 8 weeks after second vaccine
54 y.o. female who started with neurological and muscular symptoms with 6 weeks of getting second vaccine with weakness and tremors
50 y.o. female with oral cold sores very bad case
63 y.o. female with herpies outbreak in perineal area within 3 weeks
57 y.o. with shingles outbreak multiple time after each vaccine
42 y.o. female within 24 hours after first dose
All conventional practitioners that these patients originally saw felt that it was highly unlikely that these events were from the vaccine and definitely none were reported to VAERS at that time.
Dear Senator Johnson,
Over the past 18 months as a pulmonary/critical care physican, I have worked to care for COVID patients with all spectrums of disease ranging from outpatient therapy, inpatient floor status, and COVID ICU. We have learned to adapt our plans to care for these patients and improve their survival and recovery. Since the warp speed COVID vaccine EUA, I have been concerned about what we have seen locally, nationally, and worldwide. I have witnessed patients in our community within 4 days of vaccination suffer sudden cardiac death, heart attacks, strokes, acute heart failure with subsequent in hospital cardiac arrest and eventual death due to poor neurologic recovery. There have been patients with septic shock and purpura fulminans developing multi-system organ failure and death all within 4 days of vaccination with reports of feeling unwell since injection. There have been other patients who suffered acute deterioration of previously stable underlying neurological disease such as MS going from walking to being bed bound with weeks post vaccination. We have observed a few patients presenting with interstitial lung inflammation post vaccination that responded to steroids but have not been able to tolerate a taper off.
Throughout the country in physician groups, many have reported an usual increase in stroke codes called in younger patients than one would expect. Our own team here has witnessed a similar uptick in the number of daily stroke codes called to the ED with a particularly younger patient population presenting with signs of stroke than prior to mass vaccination. Many hospital workers who received the vaccination have reported symptoms of debilitating fatigue and brain fog ever since their vaccination. Unfortunately, many of these events go un-reported, un-recognized, or deemed un-related to vaccination despite that being the only new variable. One of our clinic RNs reports that anaphylaxis and seizures occuring post vaccination in the COVID vaccine clinic was a “usual” occurance and she expressed concern stating, “That is just not normal. We don’t see this with other vaccines.” We have witnessed our own nursing staff suffer fetal demise at > 20 weeks following vaccine administration. These events were deemed typical fetal demise as no one would suspect that the vaccine they have been told is “safe and effective” for pregnant women could be a contributing factor. Since the initiation of extending vaccination down to age 12, we have witness thousands of cases of myocarditis in adolescents across the United States, some of which have died with hours to days of receiving their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. These events alone should have halted use in adolescents and children. It deeply concerns me that we have not followed standard protocol with these experimental therapies.
With any other experimental therapy, out of an abundance of caution to FIRST DO NO HARM, an adverse event would be assumed due to the intervention until definitive evidence would deem it unrelated. This has not been the case. I am deeply concerned that we are willing to exposure our children and adolescents to an injection for COVID 19 knowing the risk of severe disease or disability from natural infection for a healthy child or adolescent is low and the risk of death is nearly zero. With the overall number of adverse event and deaths reported via VAERS in the very short time span this vaccine has been under EUA, it should have been pulled from use months ago for all ages. Now, we want to recommend a third-booster injection which also has not been studied in any group. We have no long term data, but the short term data is concerning to those who are actually looking at it with a critical mind and concerned for the best interest of our patients and communities. We are concerned that patients have not been offered informed consent for this experimental therapy injected into their body under EUA. We are concerned that natural immunity is being overlooked and those patients are still being mandated to take the vaccine despite the data supporting long lasting natural immunity. There is evidence to suggest those individuals who have previously recovered from COVID 19 may be at higher risk for death and adverse events post-vaccination particularly in our frail elderly population.
Most recently, the true value of the vaccination comes into question as we are seeing vaccinated patients not only can aquire infection, spread infection, and become severely ill, hospitalized, and die from severe infection. We have witnessed increasing rates of cases in the fully vaccinated requiring outpatient treatment, hospital admission, and ICU care including requiring invasive ventilatory support. One week ago, 4 of the 11 ICU patients were fully vaccinated with 2 of them on invasive ventilatory support and 2 on non-invasive ventilatory support and the numbers continue to increase. We can clearly see that mass, indiscriminate vaccination is not working and not the answer to beating this pandemic. We should continue to consider offering an effective vaccination to high risk patients who wish to receive it after informed consent on the risks, goals of treatment, and therapeutic alternatives. It should not be recommended for low risk individuals particularly healthy children and adolescents. A vaccine should have a better safety profile before recommending in pregnancy, and certainly a better safetly and benefit profile before considering full approval. I urge you to hear our plea for caution and recommend against full approval of this vaccination at this time. The safety and efficacy profiles are concerning to many in the medical community. I fear we will see more complications as a third booster shot program begins. Again, we must use an abundance of caution and choose to first do no harm to our healthy population whose risk of severe disease and death is extremely low from this virus and there are viable treatment options. Written and signed with deepest concern for our patients and citizens.
The Honorable Senator Johnson,
I am writing this letter to you to alert you to the public health crisis that I believe is happening throughout the United States of America. I work as a Social Worker in a small community hospital in Western New York. I hold a Master's degree in Social Work along with a New York State Social Work license. I have worked in healthcare for almost 13 years and I have been employed by this hospital for almost 10 years. I can assure you that I have never witnessed such a horrifying public health crisis as what I have been seeing since the COVID-19 vaccine became available to the public. For the past several months, I have noticed a huge increase in patient census along with patients presenting with several new-onset, life-threatening conditions. The summer months in Western New York are typically the "slow season" for hospitalizations, yet I have noticed the exact opposite. This summer we have seen record numbers of patients, including many young people who were healthy up until they received their COVID vaccine.
Patients have been presenting every day with new respiratory issues, stroke symptoms, cardiac issues, neurological symptoms, blood clots, and gastrointestinal bleeds. These are the most common complaints, though I have witnessed many others. Previously healthy people are now being prescribed blood thinners and cardiac medications that they will likely be on for the rest of their lives. We have even had to transfer patients to larger hospitals for a higher level of care. Many patients have been ventilated, and some have even died from their symptoms.
The majority of the doctors that I work with are refusing to consider that these issues may be related to the COVID vaccine. My hospital system has recently become a vaccine center and they signed a contract with the CDC/FDA that they would assure that VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) reports were made. The VAERS standard operating procedure document from December 2020 clearly lists many adverse events of special interest that health care providers might expect to see after someone receives the vaccine. However, this document was not sent out to healthcare providers and they were not educated on potential side effects and what to do if they had a patient with a side effect. In my opinion, this has caused many healthcare practitioners to believe that there are no side effects from the COVID vaccine and there certainly isn't any mention of making a report. The few practitioners that I work with who believe that there is an issue have not been educated on what to do with these ill patients. Many are unaware of their mandatory reporting requirements and are very resistive to any suggestion of reporting side effects. I believe that this is a major problem.
I will not stay silent about what I am seeing. I know that there are many front-line workers who also believe that we have a major public-health crisis on our hands. I fear that it will only get worse as we begin to vaccinate children. The United States citizens deserve to hear from our elected leaders. Many are suffering from repeated illnesses as a result of the COVID vaccine. These people were not given informed consent like they deserved.
As of Monday, August 2, 2021, my hospital system sent a system-wide email explaining that any employee who has not been vaccinated for COVID-19 must receive the vaccine by September 8, 2021, or they will be subjected to mandatory weekly COVID testing coupled with continuing education about vaccine safety and efficacy. Several of my colleagues and I do not wish to receive the COVID vaccine due to the risk of the medical issues stated above. We are concerned about our health. We worked tirelessly through the pandemic without proper PPE. I was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus on April 28, 2020. In order to return to work, I did not have to receive a negative COVID test. I had to be symptom-free for 72 hours and was then able to return to work. Now, as a symptom-free employee, I am being forced to test WEEKLY simply because I do not want to risk harming myself from a vaccine that is not even FDA-approved. This is absolutely wrong. I believe that I should be able to choose what I have injected into my body. I also believe that I have lifelong immunity to COVID-19 since I have already been infected. I am not a danger to others.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. It is important to me to speak up about what I am seeing. Please help me advocate for every person who is looking for an answer or explanation.
I have worked for CentraCare for almost 7 years now and have been in health care most of my life as it runs in my family. I have worked as an CNA since 2007, an LPN since 2009 and most recently a RN since 2019.
First of all, I would like to explain my work during the pandemic, when it first came around, I was sent from my department of dermatology when the lockdowns started occurring to work in the Acute Respiratory Clinics and swab tents. I worked my full-time hours and sometimes more daily from March up until mid-July 2020. I saw thousands of the asymptomatic, and some very ill. I sacrificed my summer, my dream job in Dermatology, and hours of my time helping out during our time of need. I offered to help in multiple different ways and positions and provided water and ice cream to my co-workers when it was 95+ degrees in the tents. On top of that I worked with the Minnesota State Emergency Operations and worked in multiple COVID Long Term Care Units across the state (I had a total of 11 W-2s last year all but one was covid nursing). I am well aware of many of the symptoms, and how different people are affected differently, as with very many diseases and illnesses. There were multiple occasions I knew our PPE wasn’t working effective, but we made do with what we had, never once was I concerned for my own safety other than being exhausted from all my extra hours as this is what nursing is about. According to two different antibody tests and Covid swabs I have never tested positive, despite prior to the pandemic and testing I was very ill along with family members, when I believe I had it. I have held the hands of those dying who had to be separated from their families, not because they had COVID but because they were on hospice for other causes, depressed and their loved ones had to say good-bye through an I Pad.
As you can see, I am well aware of the implications of COVID.
Yes, I was mandated to have a few vaccinations as terms of my employment. These vaccinations took many years to be approved and were not mandated until years of research and approval were completed. These vaccinations have the common side effects of low-grade fever, chills, fatigue and muscle aches, potential for irritation at injection site, that last for 24-72 hours. The COVID vaccinations have a multitude of concerning side effects that are lasting longer than 72 hours, more so than what is listed on their patient education sheet, which cannot be called a Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) because there is not enough research or information to provide one. These side effects are lymphadenopathy, myocarditis, Bell’s palsy, and so on. I currently work for our triage phone line. I have received many calls from patients that have very concerning initial side effects from the vaccination. Unfortunately I don't see the multiple follow up appointments post reaction nor am I allowed to check up weeks later. Of the side effects I have seen they seem to have no other clinical correlation other than just receiving the vaccination. First you have those that receive one or two doses and they are so incredibly ill, the develop shortness of breath a cough, a high fever, muscle aches and body aches and these symptoms last for days to the point where they are tested for covid and sometimes still negative. Others have experienced large swelling of lymph nodes in their axillary areas and collar bone areas. I had one patient the swelling didn't start until a week later started in the axilla of the side her injection was on, and spread across her collar bone area and the lymph nodes became so big it was bothering her to swallow and breathe. I have had patients with severe blood clots in their legs or elsewhere. I have had patients with chest pain, and shortness of breath who have had to go to the emergency department for a heart attack. We have had kids, who develop shortness of breath, chest pain and uncontrollable shivering - for hours on end with no fever, which I only can assume is neurological, and tremors. I have a friend whose husband had an experience where she thought he was going to die because his blood pressure fluctuated and his heart raced so much post vaccination 30 minutes after as well as hours after. All of the side effects I have seen require emergency department dispositions flooding our hospitals with patients. And these are just the current short term effects that could last long term or life-long but who knows?! Studies that have been performed show there is possible hyper reaction to reinfection which is almost always fatal. This vaccine is attacking our immune systems and I am willing to almost bet we see an uptick in autoimmune disease in those vaccinated. I think the more heartbreaking cases I have seen are the elderly who in fear have not left their homes for over a year, they went and got the "life saving vaccine" and then assume they can participate in society again because they are protected, and then bam they come down with covid symptoms, and these symptoms hit them hard, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, cough, loss of appetite. If they don't have help in their homes they are left to die. No one has ever promoted to them adequate care if you have covid or treatment at home care. No, it's just wait until you can't breathe then give us a call. All around the care our patients are receiving is not right. We are silenced on the side effects we are seeing and everything is censored to follow the guidance from the doctors and administrators who many have not even touched a covid patient.
The nurses code of ethics talks about autonomy where our patients have the right to decide and choose, and have informed consent. How can we properly obtain informed consent with such a vast array of side effects and not enough data to consider long term side effects?
Yes, all vaccines have side effects, some can be potentially fatal, but based on research I have done on my own on the VAERS website, CDC, WHO on a non-biased web search platform as well as just personal experience working with the CareConnect, I was receiving very scary phone calls with side effects that I have never experienced with vaccinations before. Prior to working with CentraCare I was an immunization coordinator at my rural health clinic that I worked at. I am not anti-vaccination by any means, but there is very little research on this vaccination and not only that it has been noted in the news and the CDC that the data in which the research was conducted is not very reliable in itself. We are conducting research based on numbers that are not accurate. Currently on VAERS data for the COVID vaccination, regardless of what manufacturer there have been 12,366 deaths attributed to the COVID Vaccination, 46,036 hospitalizations, 92,527 office visits, 4,044 Bell’s Palsy and 4,759 episodes of anaphylaxis. In comparison, the mandated vaccinations for terms of employment for such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus Diphtheria and Pertussis and Influenza, vaccinations have a total of 290 deaths. Most recent Influenza vaccinations - which are mandated yearly, or we have the option to wear a mask if we refuse - report per VAERS documentation for last year 140 deaths, 123 anaphylaxis episodes, 4 episodes of Bell’s Palsy. Again, I am not anti-vaccine, I am just skeptical and well aware of the side effects of the items I put in my body, especially when currently my risk of COVID death is less than 1%.
I have been called out by some medical colleagues as not being a leader because I am not comfortable with receiving the vaccine. I am not discouraging others to get it. In fact some of my friends and family have received it and that is their choice. I will always advocate for my patient’s right to choose. Who now will advocate for me? I feel I am being a leader and making my own informed decision based on the critical thinking I have been taught over my many years of nursing. I believe we should all have this choice. We advocate for our patients. It's time to advocate for us. The country of Sweden has almost completely eradicated COVID and is not having reinfections with the Delta Variant because they have natural immunity. Yes, unfortunately with as with any disease, some died, a total of 14,621 (1,438 people/per million) to date in Sweden, versus the U.S - as of today we have had 637,561 (1,914 people/per million) deaths to date. However, these numbers may be skewed as well as the CDC has admitted that the COVID death counts have been incorrectly reported. Sweden’s current death rate for COVID for the past week seven whole days has been ZERO.
Senator Johnson, THANK YOU for STANDING. For supporting. For DEMANDING our silenced voices be heard. My name is Pam B, RN. I have been a nurse for nearing 30 years. A career ignited in the Navy Nurse Corps, woven with some corporate health, community and school initiatives and finally back to my love of women’s health as a Labor & Delivery nurse. Passionate about health maintenance, I started a youth program to attenuate the onset of disease by teaching our youth about not waiting until they are sick to be WELL. As a cross country, track & field and adult marathon coach, to encouraging and inspiring co-workers to live more boldly and with intention. ...I have lived my live as an advocate. Throughout this pandemic I have chosen to work above and beyond my scheduled FTE, most pay periods averaging 105-110 hours…because our unit / hospital has such a severe staffing shortage. It is my understanding that you desire to hear stories from the inside of what has happened here, inside the closed walls of the hospital. Several key elements come resonate in my heart and soul. As a labor nurse, I can only provide anecdotal evidence, as the hospital would not allow evaluation of, or discussion of COVID related origins, to the uptick in late first trimester, early second trimester unexplained fetal loss. In the final 6-9 months of 2020, we had typically 1-2 losses per week, whereas previous we were seeing 1-2 per month.
After the release of the CV19 vaccine we noted that our pregnant women, most specifically the vaccinated, were experiencing placental abruption & post-partum hemorrhage. While I understand this is purely anecdotal it is worth noting. More profound is the story of my good friend Steve S. He is a 40 year old engineer, extremely fit volunteer fire fighter with ZERO prior co-morbidities. In October of 2020 he was mildly sick with CV19. On April 28th, 2021, feeling coerced and pressured from his place of employment, he succumbed to taking the clot shot and the following ensued: Thursday April 29th, 2021 Steve reluctantly received the Pfizer shot. With hours he stated he felt sick, flu like. Friday April 30th Steve didn’t go to work as he simply felt something was wrong. Warm, flushed, and fatigued. Saturday May 1st, worse than Friday. Noticing some swelling of his arms and legs. He told his wife Kim, an exercise physiologist that he felt something really bad was happening to him and he couldn’t quite describe it other than an aura, a sense that really wrong was happening inside of his body. Sunday May 2nd, after sending his wife and kids to church, telling her to keep her phone close as he felt an impending doom, Steve's world changed. He dialed 9-1-1 from the bathroom with an urgent call for help. Called his wife AT MASS and told her to come home. He was certain he was dying. Kim arrived to the house ahead of EMS, finding Steve pulseless and without respirations. She began CPR. Shortly after paramedics arrived and shocked him 3 times. He woke briefly in the rig. Immediately at the hospital the test began to determine the cause of his anaphylactic shock, doctors initially refuting that it had ANYTHING to do with the experimental vaccine. He was filled with clots and threw 2 pulmonary emboli. After 12 days in the hospital he was discharged to home, only to return two days later having had a massive heart attack.
May 18th, text message from Steve to myself: "I am both the unluckiest dude ever and the most blessed! I am literally lucky to be alive!!!! Fauci and the democrats - I am DONE with all of them!!!!" May 25th, text message from Steve to myself: My biggest beef with the current narrative that is pervasive today is that EVERYONE must take the vaccine NO MATTER WHAT. This groupthink is so incredibly dangerous that it boggles the mind. I am not an anti-vaxxer by any stretch of the imagination, I just want people to use their brain and analyze their current health situation to determine if the vaccine should be taken or not. I firmly believe that testing should be done to determine the level of antibodies in the body before the vaccine is taken. I (now obvious) had a high level of antibodies in my system and should have waited at least another few months before taking it (if ever!). This experience has changed me mentally. I am normally a gentle giant but this ordeal has awakened the warrior in me. I pity the next person who tells me to my face that I must do something against my better judgment - they will feel my wrath." July 3rd text message from Steve to myself: "I am still not out of the woods yet. I am still fighting fatigue and most days I just can't get out of first gear physically. Mentally I am good, just trying to get my physical strength back." Aug 9th, text message from Steve to myself: "I had my 3 month follow up with my hematologist last Wednesday. I am now off blood thinners (thank GOD!). He told me that it is his opinion that the Pfizer shot caused my pulmonary embolisms. I am an extremely lucky man! Having said all that, I just want this chapter of my life to be in the rear view mirror." By the grace of God Steve is alive. Not well. But alive. He is grateful to have more time with his wife and children. Prays that others think for themselves, use common sense before agreeing to put something in their body that they don’t connectedly agree with. I pray that he will not suffer lifelong cardiac, blood dyscrasia or lung injury…ADVOCATING that our silent voices be heard! Abundantly with passion and purpose
Dear Senator Johnson,
I am a Registered Nurse with 33 years experience, two Master's degrees, and board certification in Nursing Professional Development. I have a specialized role and am the only educator in the hospital where I currently work. On November 1st I will be "released from employment" for "violating conditions of employment" because I will not get the COVID vaccine or flu vaccines, both of which were recently made mandatory.
I filed for an exemption, but am not optimistic about it being approved. Not only will I lose my job, but my health and life insurance, and tens of thousands of dollars in future retirement benefits. But this is not about me. Our small hospital will lose many qualified and dedicated staff because of the mandates. Many have no other income source. Some were injected because they couldn't afford to lose their job. Yet, during the pandemic, they worked like beasts, picking up shifts, filling in for others, doing whatever was needed.
We are now facing a severe staffing shortage. Hospitals around the country seem to be working in unison, leaving nurses with nowhere to go, unless they get the vaccine. I am standing up against the mandate, because what is going on is not right. We have not been told the truth about side effects, safety, and effectivess. There is too much we do not know. We all want to keep everyone safe, including ourselves, but there are concerns about the vaccine that make it difficult for healthcare workers to feel good about taking it. I am not anti-vax, but I am anti-coercion and anti-mandate. Medical freedom must be defended.
Hi my name is April Knutson. I am the patient advocate at CHI St. Joseph’s here in Park Rapids, Minnesota. I want to give you my view on this mandate.
When we received the email from our facility that they were mandating the COVID 19 vaccine my heart immediately sank. They told us we could request a medical or religious exemption. I immediately made an appointment to meet with my primary provider at Essentia Health to ask her to sign it. I have many medical issues including severe allergies to many things. My provider called me the morning of my appointment. She stated “I will not be signing any exemptions unless you have any anaphylactic reactions to at least one ingredient in all three vaccines”. I responded with “I don’t know nor do I want to find out, you know I am allergic to the flu shot and many other medications”. All she said was “I’m sorry I am not signing it”. We hung up. I was in tears.
So I filled out the religious exemption best as I could and turned it in. Was told it will take up to 15 days to receive their decision. With one of the vaccines being FDA approved now I feel it’s going to be even harder to get an exemption approved.
I have no idea what I am going to do. I can’t chance my life on something that I could potentially be allergic to. We are to be fully vaccinated by November 1st. They haven’t said anything about other options like being tested every week. I don’t have the option to work remotely as they are mandating even remote workers be vaccinated. I love my job and I love helping my patients but I just can’t chance my own safety for something so new. So as of November 2nd I will no longer have a job as the patient advocate.
I would like to share my personal story about my current struggle with the Covid-19 vaccine mandate.
I am 28 years old and I work as a front line RN. We were recently informed of the mandate and required to get the vaccine in less than one month. One year ago I was a hero because I was caring for sick Covid patients that were coughing in my face. I contracted Covid and brought it home to my entire family including my 4 month old son, 90 year old grandpa, immune compromised mother, and other family members.
After months of symptoms that disrupted our lives we have all recovered, thank God. Now, I’m being told that I have to get vaccinated or I will lose my job. I’m witnessing patients come into the hospital with life threatening vaccine adverse reactions. I am NOT antivax but I truly know this vaccine is simply not safe. It’s still an experiment after all. Also important to note I have natural immunity from having the virus. Not to mention I would be only protecting myself by getting the vaccine I don’t want. Above all It should be my choice!!!
My patients need me, my young family needs me, and I have a lot of life yet to live. Some people say to me, well it is your choice to decline the vaccine and loose your job. However, it's likely the mandate is going to trickle into all of the medical field. I do not stand alone in this thinking and if we are all forced out of our career who will care for our loved ones when we are already so short staffed!?
Hello Mr. Johnson,
I am a state employee and currently work Registered Nurse. Currently, we don’t have a vaccine mandate but the Governor has been weighing the idea of mandating the vaccine or submit to weekly testing. This has contributed to the stress of current conditions in the workplace and many people are considering leaving their jobs if they are mandated to get the vaccine. Morale is at an all time low and nursing shortages are everywhere. We are burning out and this breach of medical freedom in my opinion is a violation of my rights. It’s not easy to just get another job due to many places of employment requiring this vaccine despite contradicting scientific studies done by independent people and agencies.
This outright violation is giving our “leaders by fear” total dictatorship over our lives. I’m a state employee and not state property. If my body, my choice works for other liberal stances then it should work our medical freedom. I survived 2020 without a vaccine and i believe that I will survive 2021 as well.
Vaccines like tetanus are a good idea just because death from tetanus is nearly 100%. However, they started this vaccine mandate stuff with the influenza vaccine years ago but gave exemptions. This vaccine they are not accepting exemptions as frequently. It is funny how the OxyContin dilemma and pharmaceutical companies going broke from lawsuits happen around the same time of a fast tracked vaccine becomes a “matter of life and death” comes to light. Anyway, I’m getting off my soapbox and hope and pray that this vaccination debate is put to rest and us healthcare workers can once again be considered hero’s rather than zeros.
There are labor shortages at my hospital. We are already short nurses. There are days our ICU does not run with enough staff along with all the other medical floors. We do not have enough dietary help to feed the hospital workers. Their efforts are to feed the patients. There are not enough housekeepers to keep up with needs of the hospital either. This mandate is being felt throughout the hospital. I foresee units needing to shut down. The hospital is offering an extra $30/hr for nurses and $15/hour for CNAs to pick up extra shifts. The remaining staff will be burnt out quickly. If our ICU cannot run, I’m not what will happen in the winter months to come.
Dear Senator Johnson,
I have been a registered nurse for 10 years. I have my bachelor’s degree in nursing from a private school here in Minnesota. I worked hard for my degree. I do not regret any of that because people are my passion. I have always stood up for those who needed someone advocating for them. This has become especially crucial since Covid arrived in the U.S. I have worked directly with Covid patients on our inpatient unit. Also, as a charge nurse, I am part of the hospital’s code team, so I have been to codes (heart and/or breathing stops) of Covid patients.
When Covid first made the news, we were all scared. We had no idea what to think. We were told personal protective equipment was going to be scarce so we needed to reuse ours until it was falling apart. Within a few months our hospital offered HUGE bonuses to increase our hours for 8 week commitments. At the same time all “elective” surgeries were canceled. Patients were told we were overwhelmed with Covid patients and if they came in for help they would overwhelm us and surely catch Covid and die. This was not the case. We often had more nurses than we needed — so much so that they would be given random non-patient tasks. Nonetheless we didn’t need all the staff there and patients should have been encouraged to seek the medical care they needed.
We were offered the Covid vaccine in December 2020/January 2021, and continuously since then. Many of us have declined the vaccine. Now they are mandating it. We are to get our first vaccine by October 1st or we will be fired. There is constant pressure to pick up open shifts because our current staffing crises is so huge. According to my employer, come October 1st, I am no longer “safe enough” to care for patients.
I am not anti-vaccine, but we are seeing the effects the vaccine has had on people. We are seeing patients, especially more young ones, coming in with pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, and even post-menopausal women that are spontaneously hemorrhaging years after they stopped having menstruation cycles, only weeks to months after the Covid vaccine. At my age and health status, I am more at risk for having adverse effects from the vaccine than having any lifelong complications or death from having Covid.
We are being silenced with any suggestion that the vaccine is causing harm.
We all have our reasons for declining the vaccine. Now we are forced to choose between our livelihoods and taking a vaccine we are morally opposed to. We are tired. We feel defeated. We will never stop fighting this until it ends because if they can mandate us, what’s next? We are at patients bedsides 24/7/365. We care for patients in their most vulnerable hours. We constantly advocate for them. Who will advocate for us? Where is our informed consent and autonomy over our healthcare? We are being silenced as to what we are actually seeing in the healthcare settings. If nurses all across the country and world are willing to walk away from a career we love and have felt called to over this vaccine, maybe the public and legislature should start asking why. If you don’t know anyone being mandated so you think this doesn’t really affect you, think again. It will affect patient care across the country and the world. It will not stop with healthcare workers. We need to stand firm now to protect the health and liberties of our children and all generations to come.
Thank you for taking the time to listen.
Dear Senator Ron Johnson,
I have my bachelor’s degree in nursing and have been practicing as a registered nurse for 6 years. I currently work at a local hospital here in Minnesota for a large healthcare system and have been there for 4 years. I am writing you today to share with you the extreme level of concern I have regarding the current push for vaccine mandates. Never before have we seen such a push to receive a vaccine; the coercion, incentives, rewards, threats, etc. I believe the concerns myself and others have regarding these vaccines are completely legitimate and should be taken into consideration. At the core of the nursing profession is advocacy for our patients. We take an oath to do no harm. As a moral, good-practicing nurse, I wouldn’t dream of forcing one of my patients to take a medication or have a procedure done against their will, whatever their reason may be. I will always educate and inform my patient, to allow them to make a decision with informed consent. With the current vaccine mandate at my job, I truly feel my right to informed consent is being stripped away. I have researched the vaccine, read the adverse effects, seen the VAERS statistics, read others’ personal testimonies urging against the vaccine after having received it themselves, etc. I do not feel that it is in my best interest to receive this vaccine. Yet, I am being told I must have my first dose by October 1, 2021 or I will lose my job, if I am not granted a sincerely held religious belief or medical exemption. I do not think this is right, nor fair. Since when do we not have freedom to choose?
It’s infuriating to me to know that so many doctors and nurses are feeling the need to remain silent out of fear for their license and jobs, including myself. Doctors’ licenses are being threatened for spreading “misinformation” if they speak against the vaccine. Many doctors, nurses and scientists around the world have spoken out about their concerns with these vaccines, urging people not to get them, but they have been continuously silenced. Many of them have lost their jobs and have had their license suspended. WHY? If this vaccine is so good and saving so many lives, why is there a need to silence those who have concern? We’ve always been a society with the freedom to have differing opinions and the ability to share as such. Not anymore.
I have deep concern over this loss of our medical freedoms. If this, then what will be next? This attempted control over the medical field is only the beginning. It will trickle down to every other career, profession, field and family — as it already is beginning to. It is not fair that many of us are having to choose between our livelihoods or our job. This mandate must be stopped. The adverse events and side effects that have resulted from this vaccine are traumatizing. Wherever there is such risk, there absolutely needs to be a choice. I’ve felt extremely sad over these mandates within the healthcare system I work for. I absolutely love my job and feel that nursing is my calling. However, I am willing to risk it all simply out my strong conviction to not take this vaccine.
I thank you for your time and attention to this very important matter. Please fight hard for this.
Out of fear of retribution towards not only myself, but my family, I wish to remain anonymous.
I am a critical care nurse, working in a large area hospital. I have almost 8 years of experience at the hospital where I work for the next couple months until I am put on an unpaid leave of absence until a time where I "choose" to get the COVID vaccine. The same shot that if I react to it, most won't believe that the reaction is from the shot. Where if I should die after it, life insurance may not pay. Where there is no liability to anyone for any sort of reaction.
I worked the COVID ICU for the first year of the pandemic. It was traumatizing; I will never be the same. I've fought to bring in families into the ICU so that their loved ones don't die alone. I've broken protocol in order to bring kids into see their dying parent. I've watched as patients have died alone, held countless hands and wiped so, so many tears. I've listened while grown men sobbed in my arms about how scared they were, how much they missed their families, and how much they regretted working so much. I've held iPads while loved ones said good-bye before the patient was put on a ventilator. I've made those hard calls, struggling to keep my voice straight as I've delivered the worst news that a family could hear. I've waded through policies that have changed daily. While wearing tattered and torn personal protective equipment. I've sweated for 12-, 16-hour days fully garbed up, not drinking water because that would mean having to take off my already worn mask and because I didn't have the time to go to the bathroom. I've skipped breaks, only stopping when I'm shaking with low blood sugar. I've trained staff from other areas to help in critical care, in order to take on more ICU patients than is really safe in a "team nursing" environment due to a shortage of critical care nursing staff. I waited while the COVID shot news started trickling out ... and watched and followed as vaccinations started rolling out.
I ended up working for a few months at a vaccination clinic, administering the COVID shot. After a while, a disturbing trend was noticed, and I really started paying attention. I started asking my patients if they had already had COVID. If they had already had COVID, I educated them all that they should expect to get sick, with COVID like symptoms after the first shot. (This was expected, per our instruction, as the immune system "kicked in and did what it was supposed to do.") If they hadn't had COVID, they might expect to get sick after the second shot. But as these people came back for their second shot, they started telling me stories about how they did with their first shot. I heard countless stories about emergency room visits, hospital stays. I heard about heart issues, stroke like symptoms, neurological issues. I heard about stillborn/miscarriages happening in abnormally high numbers. I heard about countless "coincidental" COVID positive tests after the first vaccine. When I asked these patients who had gone into the doctor for their post-shot medical issues, I asked if a VAERS report had been filled out. I asked if the doctor thought it was related to the shot. Every single one of them told me that the doctor told them that it was too hard to prove that it was a side effect from the shot, and that they could only say that it was a reaction if it happened right away rather than days later or within a couple weeks of the shot. Not one of them knew about a VAERS report being filled out. And not one of them filled out a report themselves. As nurses, we were never taught or told to fill out a VAERS report. In fact, the news is reporting that VAERS is not accurate, since "anyone" can fill out a report. This, after the VAERS reports were the gold standard for tracking vaccination reactions in all previous vaccines for the past almost 30 years.
I started asking all the women who came through my booth about their menses. All women, with the exception of 2, reported abnormalities with their menses. They reported bleeding post menopause, they reported no bleeding, they reported spotting, or heavy clotting where they had never had these issues before. They reported irregularities, and reported that many females around them were also having issues. I, myself, had issues. I have a condition where I bleed all the time — am supposed to get a hysterectomy per my doctor. I have never gone longer than 3 weeks in my entire life without bleeding. I stopped bleeding after 2 weeks of working at the clinic, and did not bleed again until 3 weeks after I left there. After these experiences, I cannot believe that the shot is not affecting fertility.
I had a young woman come in to the clinic for a shot, and she was visibly nervous; shaking, tears in her eyes. I sat her down and let her know that we were going to sit and chat about her feelings before going through with the shot. She worked for the same company as I do. She was feeling a huge amount of pressure from her coworkers to get vaccinated. And she was scared. She had been trying for 9 years to get pregnant, and thought that she might be in early stages of pregnancy. She had been hearing rumors of abnormally high numbers of miscarriages. We sat and talked. We talked about how if she was pregnant, it would be the most perfect gift that she had been waiting for. But that if she got vaccinated and ended up possibly having a miscarriage how she would blame herself, wondering if it was the shot that caused it. We talked about finding out if she was pregnant first, and then talking with her OB-GYN doctor prior to coming back. We talked about how she needed to get all the information first, and being 100% comfortable with the decision to get the shot so that she didn't ever need to regret her decision or feel pressured into a decision she wasn't ready for. She cried for a while. And she hugged me and thanked me. She left without a shot, but armed with the power to make her own choice. THIS is what nurses do. We help the patients make informed consent for medical procedures. We give information, and allow them to choose, regardless of our personal thoughts on the matter.
I got yelled at for not administering that shot. It had been noticed how long she was in my booth, and I was questioned about it. I was told that everyone came into the clinic for the shot, and that it was simply our job to administer the shot. Our goal, I was told, was to vaccinate everyone.
My co-worker’s husband died suddenly 2 weeks after getting the COVID shot. He was not even 50. His only medical issues were being over-weight and high blood pressure. They refused to do an autopsy when she requested one. They stated death was due to his weight and blood pressure.
Less than 40% of our ER staff has gotten the COVID shot. They have such a low vaccine rate due to what they have seen coming into the emergency room after getting the shot.
Since the mandate has come out at our facility, the attitudes of staff have been awful. Management has been turning this into a vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated battle. When really, it's not about the shot at all. It's about medical freedom. We should be trying to figure out how to best use our already short resources into taking care of as many sick patients as we can. We should be building each other up, supporting each other. We should be respecting our personal choices. We shouldn't even know the status of everyone's vaccination status — this is private health information. We've never known who has filed for exemptions before this! We have had no idea who is vaccinated with childhood shots and who is not. We have never bullied staff who chose not to get the flu shot. We have never said anything when those staff simply wore a mask to work all winter long. We have some units posting who is vaccinated and who is not on a public list. We have leaders pressuring staff to get the shot. We have staff telling others how selfish they are for not being vaccinated, that they need to look out for the "greater good." We have doctors telling staff and patients alike how they are uneducated for not already being vaccinated. We have a doctor who has stated on a podcast that if we are not vaccinated that we need to "rethink our career choice, that maybe we chose the wrong career." We had a doctor tell a mother that it was her fault that her child was hospitalized because she was too ignorant to get the shot. We have many staff saying that they don't want to take care of un-vaccinated patients that the ventilators should be saved for those who are vaccinated.
This, after we detox the same patient every couple weeks for years in a row, after we take care of drug addicts, patients from the prison, child molesters, overweight patients, smokers, non-compliant diabetics, and patients who refuse to follow the doctor's recommendations regarding medication and lifestyle. We were all taught to take care of all patients as if they were Christ in person, regardless of their life choices. This is not the same profession that I chose, that I studied for, that I fought for through school. There is not the same sense of pride that I have always felt in saying that I am a registered nurse. There should never be treatment without informed consent, without respect for personal choices. There should not be private health information as public knowledge. Our vaccinated status as health care workers does not affect our performance as nurses (especially when the vaccinated staff can pass on COVID as easily as the un-vaccinated staff). Yet we are being threatened, coerced, bullied into getting a shot in order to do the work that we were called to do, the work that we have been trained to do, the work that we know how to do. This, at a time when nurses are at an all-time shortage. When critical care nurses especially are so needed. When we've given our all for our patients, and our facilities for the past couple years.
No one should have a condition of employment be a shot without the ability for exemption. The only medical exemption allowed at the facility I work at is previous documented anaphylaxis to the COVID shot. Nothing else is accepted. They are not accepting conscientious exemptions (which is our legal right in Minnesota). They have also told us that it will be "very hard" to get a religious exemption, as from their perspective there are no documented religions against the COVID shot.
An example of why many nurses are not trusting the numbers or statistics published: our facility just this week published that 80% of our COVID patients hospitalized are not vaccinated. I checked within our system, and the numbers are run off a set of data that has 3 categories — vaccinated, non-vaccinated, and unknown. Unknown means that the patient was not vaccinated at our facility. It does not mean that they are not vaccinated. Yet all these patients were put into the not vaccinated numbers. Earlier this summer they published that 60% of the ICU COVID patients weren't vaccinated ... yet when checking the numbers, 5 out of the 9 total patients were not vaccinated. But 4 out of the 9 were vaccinated. While this percentage is roughly correct, it also sends fear by sounding like such a high number of sick patients that are not vaccinated.
Yes, our hospitals are full. Full of sick patients with worried families. Full of patients living with us while waiting for nursing homes to be able to take them. Yes, we have COVID patients as well. But we don't have enough staff. We had so many staff leave during the pandemic, unable to take the stress, unable to work with kids home, unable to work with the fear. We had staff leave for travel positions, where they are paid many times more to do the same work. Yet many of us have stayed to take care of the patients in our home communities. And we are very worried about how the health care system is going to function if any more staff leave. Who will take care of the patients? Who will run these hospitals? Who's going to be there when your loved one gets sick? When my loved one gets sick?
There is something very wrong with what is going on. The public needs to hear our voices.
Dear Senator Johnson, I am a family physician practicing in Wisconsin. I have a few concerns I have observed in my practice I would like to share with you.
1) Regarding the reporting of Covid vaccine adverse events to VAERS, I suspect adverse events are significantly underreported. I have patients who have had severe reactions to the COVID vaccine and have found during their follow up visits with me, that they have been told to self-report to VAERS, in spite of their reactions meeting the qualifications for severe reactions that for any other licensed vaccine in the U.S., a health care provider would be required by law to report. The Covid vaccine is not listed in the “VAERS Table of Reportable Events following Vaccination” (https://vaers.hhs.gov/ docs/VAERS_Table_of_Reportable_Events_Following_Vaccination.pdf), and I suspect because they are not required to report, healthcare providers are instead telling patients to report. My patients did not self-report, for a multitude of reasons: they were unfamiliar with the system, they were ill and not up to adding another task to their plate, they were not aware of the importance of reporting, etc. I took the time out of my clinic day to report the events to VAERS and was astonished that the system was so incredibly time consuming and filled with software defects that I could hardly complete the process. I did report, however, because I am aware of the experimental status of the vaccine and the importance of reporting to assist with data collection for the ongoing process of approval. My patients suffered cardiotoxic effects requiring ER visits and for one, hospitalization, and repeated syncopal events, that certainly are severe enough for mandated reporting, yet the VAERS system is not mandating these events be reported. Even my patients who report that they have otherwise healthy family members who have died following Covid vaccination are unsure if these events have been reported to VAERS, and indeed on review of the VAERS website, reporting these events is “encouraged” but not required. Why? Why would an experimental vaccine not MANDATE reporting of all adverse events?
2) I learned this week that my patients who have previously been vaccine hesitant are now obtaining the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19, because they believe it is now FDA approved and is therefore, deemed “safe.” When I shared with them that this currently available vaccine is not actually FDA approved, but rather has an extended EUA, and it is instead, the Comirnaty Pfizer-BioNTech that is not yet available on the market that has FDA approval, they were surprised. They told me they asked specifically at the pharmacy whether the vaccine they were getting was FDA approved, and they were clearly told “yes,” and so obtained the vaccine. There is extreme confusion regarding this distinction between the Pfizer vaccine currently available vs the approved Comirnaty, and patients are clearly being told that they are receiving an FDA approved vaccine when this is in fact false. I am an employed physician and have received communication from my organization stating “the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine which was fully approved (under new name of Comirnaty) by the FDA for ages 16 years and older earlier this week.” A name change is never just a name change in the world of pharmaceuticals. What is the difference between these vaccines?
3) My patients with Covid-19 who are very ill are being sent home without any treatment from the ER, only with instruction to pick up a pulse oximeter from the pharmacy and to come back if their oxygen saturation is consistently under 90% so that they can be admitted to the hospital. For instance, I had a patient with cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, whose chest X-ray showed multiple patchy infiltrates consistent with Covid pneumonia. Other lab studies indicated low potassium. She was sent home with no treatment even for her cough (we have inhalers and antitussives she could have been prescribed but was not), only with a prescription for 2 days of potassium supplements, instructions to hydrate well, rest, and get a pulse oximeter, and come back if she was under 90% O2, for admission. I saw her via video the next day, and at least prescribed the symptomatic treatments for cough, and recommendations for vitamin supplementation that has been demonstrated to help, including vitamin D. This is happening in myriad cases, across the US. Why are patients not receiving even the MINIMUM of care for Covid-19, even symptomatically, for cough or shortness of breath? On a case by case basis in my area, outpatient physicians and providers have been following the outpatient treatment recommendations in the iMask+ protocols put forth by the FLCCC, which are based on robust data and ongoing investigation into ivermectin for treatment of Covid-19. This past week, my organization sent instruction to all providers to stop prescribing ivermectin. The instruction specifically stated: “Ongoing prescribing of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 will result in ambulatory peer review and possible disciplinary action through established medical group processes.” Never in my career have I been advised against prescribing a medication by my organization. As physicians, we are guided by our Hippocratic Oath and medical training, and allowed the discretion to review data and prescribe medications that have demonstrated effectiveness. This is unprecedented, occurring in the last 2 years with both hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. Why are physicians not allowed to try to help our patients stay healthy and out of the hospital? Additionally, I would like to add that I myself have concerns about the Covid 19 vaccine safety and efficacy data being notably lacking in robustness. In addition to my medical degree, I previously obtained a master’s degree in public health in the field of toxicology from the University of Michigan. I have previously worked at the EPA in the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division, and observed during my time there the painstaking process of EPA approval of pesticides. Our division was responsible for “fast tracking” more “safe” pesticides such as lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, etc., and even the approval of applications for these agents took several years. Vaccine application approval typically involves many years of testing and study review, typically around 10 to 12. The vaccine currently available, a new mRNA technology, was rushed through testing and review, and the usual painstaking process of multiple safety and efficacy reviews, was bypassed. Now these same vaccines are being mandated. Most people are unaware that there has not been a full approval of any currently available vaccine. As I above noted, there is no mandated reporting of the Covid-19 vaccine reactions, hence there is a high likelihood of significant underreporting of adverse events and deaths. There are so many concerns I have as a physician and toxicologist regarding the use of this vaccine. We seemingly have not learned from our mistakes, for example in past FDA approval of thalidomide and diethylstilbestrol, and in use of the swine flu vaccine in 1976. My fear is that this is yet another mistake. However, as a physician employed by a large organization in Wisconsin, I am being told to get the vaccine or be terminated. My personal religious exemption is “under review” and “determination letters will be sent out by 9/6,” or so I was told. As a discerning physician, scientist, and practicing Catholic with a well-formed conscience, I will be told by my organization whether or not my conscientious objection is good enough to be exempted from their mandate. This is happening all over the country. Is this the way our country works now?
Thank you sincerely for your efforts in learning the truth. Please let me know if I can provide further information or be of further assistance.
I work for AAH as a pharmacist and I am seeing a trend as it relates to the vaccines. I have had a huge number of patients with clotting issues and a fair number of patients with unexplained bleeding issues. I have seen a number of patients with re-activation of their cancers, and I can guess with fair accuracy which vaccine the patient received based on their admitting symptoms and diagnosis. I am not alone in this observation. The EMS folks can guess which vaccine a patient received based on the information gathered in the 911 call. There is definitely harm occurring from the vaccines but the groupthink is that the benefit to the population outweighs the risk to the individual.
I am seeing all those individuals who just wanted to be safe, to do what they were told to do, and are now suffering with terrible effects of their choice. The vaccines are not for everyone. They promote clotting in multiple areas of the body, almost seeming to exploit a medical weakness the patient may have. Moderna causes a lot of GI clotting resulting in colectomies, ileostomies. One 56 year-old patient, for example, is now on life-long total parenteral nutrition and will never eat again. Pfizer causes a lot of cardiac issues, strokes, arrhythmias, etc.: 48 year-old female, massive heart attack on life support; 29 year-old male, clotted off the blood vessel that feeds the liver; heart attacks, bypass surgeries, lower extremity clots, etc., several spontaneous aborted fetuses in the second trimester — even the Moderna product information states that it isn't known to be safe in the pregnant population. Why is the CDC recommending that all pregnant women receive the injections? These examples are a minute fraction of what I am seeing daily.
I believe the physicians are responsible for evaluating each individual patient for appropriateness of these injections and they are not doing this. They are telling patients to "get the vaccine" but aren't administering it in their offices or by prescription, which is the historical process. This bypasses the physician-patient relationship and the physical exam that really needs to take place in order to assess if it is safe for this or that patient to receive. For example, a patient with a clotting disorder gets injected at a CVS or Walmart. That pharmacist doesn't know the patient's history, nor did that pharmacist draw blood to evaluate the patient's blood counts, and it is quite possible that the pharmacist doesn't know about the patient's clotting disorder. Additionally, the patient is not given appropriate informed consent prior to injection. The physician is completely removed from the process, which also removes responsibility. The patients' insurance companies compensate the MD for increasing numbers of vaccinated patients, and the MD has no risk, no skin in the game. …
Why are COVID + patients sent home without treatment? They are sick, scared, many of them live alone, many are elderly and frail. Why would physicians not treat them AT ALL? They are going to fester and worsen clinically. They are told to come back to the hospital when they can't breathe. That is criminal! Doing nothing is doing harm. We don't tell cancer patients to go home and wait; we get the ball rolling right away. We don't tell patients with shingles to go home and suffer. We treat them with antiviral medication and pain control immediately. We don't tell influenza patients to go home and take more Tylenol (as they are telling the COVID + patients). We treat with antivirals and supportive medication immediately. Why is the "most deadly" virus to hit the globe different? Patients need to be treated IMMEDIATELY. As you know, Dr. Kory and his team are utilizing TEST & TREAT protocol in other countries. The patient is tested for COVID and walks out with a bag of medications, including ivermectin. The death and case rates in these countries is a small fraction of what we are dealing with here. We need to change what we are doing in this country because what we are doing is not working. Not treating this infection early is doing harm.
The AAH primary/family practice physicians will not prescribe ivermectin. So, for example, when I had COVID in July, my primary MD refused to treat me. I had to find a COVID doctor from the FLCCC Alliance website to obtain ivermectin, and by dose 3 I was back to taking care of my family and back to work (from home). I only missed 2 days of work. Ivermectin works. It should be prescribed freely by the medical community but it isn't, and patients are turned away to progress toward pneumonia. By day 5 of infection, many patients are so weak they can hardly move and by day 6 they are likely to be admitted and will then receive very expensive COVID medications — likely under contract.
Remdesivir costs $3,100 per dose and they will receive 10 doses. Ivermectin is much less expensive. In other cities, physicians ARE prescribing ivermectin early and providing Regeneron infusions for patients to keep them out of the hospital. Why are we not doing it in Wisconsin?
Based on how the unvaccinated are treated these days, the majority of the country doesn't realize that this virus is treatable, which is a total failure on so many fronts. Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Regeneron was available in numerous centers around Florida. I don't think people in Wisconsin know that this is available to them as an early treatment option. It would be great to get that information out there for Wisconsinites. Fortunately, those of us who can see what is happening have decided to refuse the injection and we have gone from hero to unemployed. Again, these products are not for everyone.
We should have the right to refuse and not lose our jobs. I have recently had COVID and don't need the vaccine. My employer has mandated me to get it ASAP — since when does this make sense? I'll use chicken pox as an example. If you had it, you don't need the vaccine. When you turn 55 — they recommend the booster (shingles) which is OPTIONAL. We have a huge shortage of nurses already. Who is going to take care of the sick patients after September 20 when we are all walked out? AAH needs "30,000 injections" — tells me that there are a large number of us seeing bad things.
The last thing to mention is the number of fully vaccinated patients admitted to the hospital with COVID. I have had multiple conversations with pharmacists working in the community that flat out deny that any vaccinated patients have contracted COVID. Can't convince them otherwise, either. It would be really nice to get that data, but I am unable to get it at my pay level. Perhaps someone from your office can inquire and publish it weekly? We receive a weekly dashboard (email) with the total number of COVID + inpatients, and broken down by Illinois vs. Wisconsin and also the percent change from the previous day. What would be more valuable to me as a practitioner is to see those numbers identifying how many were vaccinated vs unvaccinated. My guess is 40% are fully vaccinated and hospitalized with serious infection. I have looked at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website and was unable to find this data point.
I have never seen medicine on its head like this before and I have been doing this a long time. Please stop this madness — for all ages. These injections are not vaccines, they are active biological injections causing an alarming amount of harm.
Dear Senator Johnson,
I am a healthcare worker in the city of Franklin. I recently returned to work and one of my nurse colleagues informed me about the protests being mounted by healthcare workers who have a problem with forced vaccination. She encouraged me to reach out to you to voice my concerns. I have a college degree in biomedical science, and I consider myself educated in the understanding of pathogens, the pathogenesis process, immunology, and pharmacology. I've done my due diligence and researched the statistics for myself, unlike most citizens I would venture to guess. It angers me greatly, that my wife and I (who both work in healthcare) are being forced to take this brand new, untested injection. We are young healthy individuals who are at no risk of dying from this virus. The hospitals are rejecting almost all exemptions from what we hear through the grapevine. I think I speak for most Americans when I say we are tired of being pawns in these political games. We love this country and everything it offers and stands for. We just want to be able to work and make a living; enjoy our lives and be left alone. Is there anything that we can realistically do to keep our jobs without being pharmaceutical test subjects? I'm here asking for help or suggestions on how to supplement the massive pay cuts we face, if we walk away from healthcare and are forced to start from the bottom of brand new careers.
I am a registered nurse and have been in practice for two years. I am writing to express my concern regarding vaccine mandates by employers.
I work in a hospital for a large health system. My employer first released information that the flu shot would be mandatory this year. A few weeks later, they released information that the COVID-19 vaccine would be necessary for continued employment effective fall 2021. I chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and as a nurse I believe in following evidence based practice. However, we are seeing a large amount of breakthrough cases in people who have had multiple doses of the vaccine. Though anecdotal, why would a vaccine that is not highly effective be required?
Additionally, I am concerned about this infringement on autonomy. I constantly advocate for my patients' rights to make their own decisions, whether or not the decision they make is for or against a provider's recommendation. If the health system allows people to make decisions like continuing smoking while needing oxygen at home, why should employees not be allowed to make a decision the hospital sees as "detrimental”? If they are really for "personal choice" then that should apply to employees as well.
Health care staffing is another concern with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The hospital system I work for is already having a difficult time retaining staff because of pandemic stress. Our census is capped not because of lack of beds but because of lack of staff to take care of the people that would be in those beds. I know many nurses that are trying to find new jobs because they do not want to get the vaccine. Who will replace them? Unsafe staffing is proven to have poor patient outcomes and experience.
The vaccine mandate goes against the ideas that America was founded: the freedom to choose.
Dear Senator Johnson,
I am a registered nurse and have been a practicing nurse in an acute care inpatient unit for 2 years. I have worked in the healthcare field for 8 years, and support proven vaccines, medical interventions, and most importantly, I support evidence based practice.
I work for one of the largest health systems in Minnesota. I have worked there for four years. Last month the board of directors issued a statement mandating all staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of whether the job description requires patient contact. If employees wish to decline the vaccine they must submit medical and religious exemption forms. If these requests are denied and an appeal is not granted, these employees (including myself) will face the consequences. That is, our company will terminate employees on October 31, 2021 should they elect to decline an experimental medical intervention.
I support proven vaccines, but I also support evidence based practice. Thus far, we have no long term evidence for the effects of this vaccine on ourselves, our families, our patients. Television ads target pregnant mothers that “it’s a myth the vaccine isn’t safe while pregnant” when in reality, the research is not available for longitudinal studies simply because not enough time has passed. The comprehensive list of side effects of this vaccine are unknown, but virologists are beginning to note severe effects on major body systems, including cardiac, neurological, cancer, life threatening allergic reactions, paralysis, and death. Most vaccines are paused and extensively analyzed once more than 50 death reports are submitted to VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System). With over 200 deaths reportedly related to this vaccine in Minnesota alone (and thousands nationwide), why is it that vaccinations were not stopped and the vaccines analyzed? Why are we being forced to vaccinate or lose our jobs? Why are we being condescended to when asking questions or attempting to discuss natural immunity to the virus? Additionally, we are seeing an increase in breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals. Therefore, why would the COVID-19 vaccine be required when it is not proving to be highly effective?
Hospitals everywhere are facing heightened staffing demands. This is another legitimate concern regarding this recent Covid-19 vaccine mandate. Staff retention is low across the state due to pandemic stressors and many facilities have a capped census because they lack the staff that would be working to take care of patients. Many nurses at my facility have already left and are looking for new jobs that do not require or “mandate” the vaccine. Who will replace the staff that leaves? When I asked my supervisor what we were going to do about staffing in October when people leave or are fired, she answered, “We will have to see.” In reality, unsafe staffing has been proven time and again to have low patient outcomes and experiences.
Furthermore, the vaccine mandate is a significant threat to my autonomy. As a nurse I am trained to witness informed consent for procedures and I am required to advocate for my patient’s rights in various situations, regardless of a provider's recommendation(s). If my employer is requiring me to follow through with these sacred duties, why are they taking away my right to choose, my right to advocate for myself? If they allow patients to leave a unit to go outside and smoke cigarettes, why would they not let me decline this vaccine, as both decisions are viewed as “detrimental to health” but both decisions maintain personal autonomy.
Medical mandates go against ethical values and what America was founded on: personal autonomy and the freedom to choose.
Hello Senator Johnson,
Thank you for standing up for healthcare workers. I am a nurse and have been working in healthcare for nearly 20 years.
In 2021, I have personally cared for dozens of patients within days to weeks of them receiving a covid injection that had mysterious new diagnoses ranging from BP & HR fluctuations, dizziness, weakness, numbness, tingling, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, AIDP, CIDP, blood clots, hearing loss, tinnitus, vasculitis, TTP, several types of cancers, kidney failure, confusion, memory loss, blurry vision, double vision, hair loss, rashes, unexplained bleeding/bruising, fatigue, swelling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea & GI pain, as well as exacerbation of existing (previously well-managed) lupus, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and neuromyelitis symptoms, which are autoimmune diseases. If you'll recall, when the shots were first released, the manufacturers themselves stated that anyone with an autoimmune disease or previous allergic reaction to any vaccine were advised not to receive the shots. Those rules seem to have been tossed out the window with the recent mandates.
One person chose to receive a 3rd non-FDA approved covid booster shot and was hospitalized less than a week later with blood clots. Once again, the doctors denied there could be any connection between the shot and the new blood clotting problem. The person is now on an expensive pharmaceutical drug to treat the blood clots, which will likely be for the long term.
While I don't believe ALL of these issues could possibly be from the jabs, it sure seems many of these problems correlate rather suspiciously to a recent covid injection. I'm appalled that doctors seem to either be completely ignoring or denying the glaringly obvious connection. Why could this be?!? I have personally been told not to mention anything concerning possible side effects of covid shots to patients, as we don't want to scare them, or cause them to lose trust in their medical system. If anything scares me, it is a medical system that seems to be willfully covering up a lot of obvious problems with these shots.
My own cousin was newly diagnosed with myeloma just weeks after receiving the 2nd covid shot. Coincidence? We'll probably never know, but is now living on borrowed time.
There are tons of stories/videos online of people having died from MI, strokes, aneurysms, as well as tremors, seizures, Bell's palsy, and other neurological symptoms immediately after their shots.
Of course, there are many people who've had the shots and claim they're fine, with no noticeable side effects, and we should "just get the damn shots!". We won't really know what the long term side effects could be for years! Will anyone even realize the cause if the rates of cancers and autoimmune diseases skyrocket over the next decade? Will there even be anyone left unjabbed as a control group?
I am terrified of the draconian mandates being imposed on healthcare workers, and I plan to leave the healthcare profession indefinitely rather than take these shots. There are many others I know that feel the same. My partner is also planning an abrupt career change if the jabs are mandated.
Thank you again for your concern for our medical freedom!
My name is Angie and I’m a nurse in an Emergency Department here in Wisconsin. Over the course of the last several months I have seen people coming in to be seen shortly after receiving their covid-19 vaccine with various issues. Those who are older with various health issues are definitely getting hit the hardest at the point, though it is not always necessarily just them.Here are a few accounts of what I have personally seen working in the ED. A man in his 60’s showed up to the ED for breathing issues. He had never had to be on oxygen until just 2 weeks prior when he was first admitted to the hospital. Shortly after getting discharged home, he showed up to the ED again because even though he was on home oxygen, his breathing was getting worse. Both times it correlated with his first and second round of vaccines. I have seen people come into the ED with abdominal infections such as diverticulitis or badly infected ulcers, all within weeks of getting their vaccines. A woman came into the ED, not being able to move her legs shortly after getting her second vaccine. A woman in her 70’s came into the ER for her blood pressure being extremely high. She told me that she used to never have to come to the hospital or to her doctor’s office on a regular basis until she had gotten the vaccine a few months prior. These are some of the things I have witnessed, and none of these were reported to VAERS that I am aware of.
I am writing to you in response to your interview and opinion on mandatory vaccination for people who have Covid antibodies. I am a nurse facing a mandatory vaccine mandate by October 15 or I lose my job. I have worked at the same institution for 35 years. I have worked around Covid patients for almost two years now. I figured I had to have antibodies or I would be sick or dead. The only illness that I feel I had that was probably Covid was the spring of 2020 before they realized GI symptoms could be Covid. I had a GI bug with a fever and joint pain that made me more sick than a regular 12-24 hour stomach bug. I had joint pain for a month after the illness. In hindsight that was probably Covid. I decided to get my antibodies checked when it looked like my hospital would probably mandate. I had positive IGG antibodies. I feel if I have antibodies I should not be forced into a vaccine that is not lasting longer than my antibodies have. I am currently taking care of as many vaccinated as unvaccinated patients. Any suggestions on how to get a medical exemption based on antibodies? Our hospital will only consider medical or religious exemptions on a case by case status. Your thoughts or suggestions would be welcomed. I am amazed that I can work overtime while short staffed for almost two years but can’t make a case for why I have been able to help out and serve my community as a healthcare worker and not be vaccinated or have a say in my decision when I have my own antibodies and I would rather fight for me than a vaccine that already needs a third booster.
A frustrated nurse who just wants to take care of patients and keep her job.
Dear Senator Johnson,
I am a Wisconsin nurse and have worked in long-term care for over 25 years. I am distressed about Mr. Biden's intent to mandate a vaccine for employees in nursing homes in order to continue to receive federal funding. I will allow myself to be fired from my job, and walk away from nursing completely rather than be forced to take a vaccine that I am hesitant about. I am not the only person at my facility that feels this way. As you probably know, the workforce in healthcare is already depleted and cannot sustain an even 10% walkout of their workforce. Please, Senator Johnson, do what you can to oppose this mandate.
Dear Senator Johnson,
Thank you for all of the support you have given health care workers, as well as those who have suffered side effects from this vaccine! I have been a nurse for 35 years, 12 at Children's Hospital. I have personally been bullied on two occasions by physicians I work with. These doctors are people I greatly respect and have always had a very good working relationship with. It is unreal the disrespect and bullying that is occurring in this hospital. I also have had Covid and am still being mandated to get this vaccine or lose my job. I personally met with the CEO for 30 minutes in a meeting of my request. He was very open to listening to all my concerns, yet in the end I was told we should do it for the community. I want documented proof that this is the best thing to do for our community. This is the narrative we keep hearing with no proof whatsoever to back these emotional claims. My fear is patient safety. The assignments are unsafe and something terrible is going to happen. More money is always their answer and that is unacceptable. They also have no documentation as to why my natural immunity, based on science, is not acceptable. This whole mandate is literally an extortion of our jobs and to take an experimental jab. Informed consent is being ignored totally. We know other medications work, there is no pandemic at this time and we do not know at this time each and every ingredient in this vaccine. They are then in violation of all 3 things that need to be present to use a EUA “vaccine". Not to mention all of the various side effects that we are seeing. The heart issues in our teens that I see on a weekly basis are heartbreaking. I thank you for all of your efforts on this and all you do for WI. I hope this is not too late for the meeting tomorrow. I would love to attend, but our area would be too short and I have to work.
Lori McLain RN
Dear Senator Johnson,
Thank you for taking the time to discuss the very important issue of vaccine mandates and particularly as it impacts healthcare workers.
I want to start off by saying that it is absolutely true that a large number of doctors and nurses do not support this vaccine, from a safety or efficacy perspective. To say we are skeptical is an understatement of grand proportion.
Many of us have witnessed the adverse side effects in our clinical practice, whether higher numbers of heart attacks and strokes, to very strange skin infections and abscesses.
We see people hospitalized when they might have been able to stay at home and been treated as an outpatient if only they had been offered appropriate medication. Never in the history of modern medicine have we diagnosed a disease, and then told patients to go home and wait until they get sick enough to come back. We have always focused on early intervention, but not this time. Over 18 months into a worldwide pandemic, and we still claim not to have any outpatient treatments that are effective? The thing is, tens of thousands of us at least know that there are effective treatments that are not being allowed. Our doctors will not prescribe them. And pharmacies will not fill them. We use countless numbers of prescription drugs off-label all the time. I have one such a prescription myself, (not Covid related). So why not now? I do not have official documentation, but I suspect it’s because the healthcare organizations as a whole have forbidden it due to their funding from the federal government and the protocols they are required to follow. I have tried to advocate for my patients who are admitted to the Covid unit, and I am told by the hospitalists that “it is not protocol.” End of story. I strongly feel that it is not the infection that kills patients, it is the protocols at the hospital that kill the patients.
In nursing school, we are taught to be critical thinkers. We are taught to follow best practices. We are taught to research, to ask questions, to advocate for our patients. None of that is allowed anymore. If we do not blindly and automatically accept (and promote!) the CDC’s guidelines as the gospel truth, we are heretics. I was recently reprimanded, and given my final warning from my employer because I spoke truth to a patient (who asked) that I felt the vaccines were unsafe and that I was unvaccinated. For trying to educate and share my well researched clinical perspective, I was reprimanded for being “unprofessional” and for “spreading misinformation.” I have had Covid, and therefore have natural antibodies. Yet, our leadership refuses to acknowledge THAT science. I also told patients who came in for Covid testing last year to take vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc to boost their immune system. I was also reprimanded for that behavior because it was not printed on letterhead from my employer, yet my employer does not produce any such patient education to promote health, only posters, letters to patients’ homes, and Facebook posts that promote shots.
Our hospitals are full, not from Covid patients, but from increasing numbers of all the normal things. Additionally our hospital stays full because we are unable to place people in rehab facilities that need additional time before they can go home. These facilities are not accepting new admissions at the pre-Covid rate as they also have staffing issues. Last week, we needed to discharge 22 patients, but we could not find beds for them at rehab facilities so they stayed at the hospital over the weekend, thereby giving the impression that we are “full” which is then reported on local and state news as well as public health reporting systems. However, it does not represent the actual situation. As of today, my hospital has two Covid patients that are in a dedicated unit outside of the main hospital, meaning they do not take beds away from our normal ICU count. But the media will never report that.
For these reasons and more, many medical professionals are disillusioned. We are frustrated, we are disheartened, and we feel helpless to intervene on behalf of our patients for fear of retribution. And now we are forced with the loss of our livelihoods, the very careers that we have built over the years and dedicated our lives to. We have had to jump through countless hoops in the attempt to get some kind of medical, religious, or philosophical exemption. Many people have had their applications denied. Those that have been approved still will be facing weekly testing. Personally, I have submitted a religious exemption and have not been notified of my employer’s decision. However, even if I do get an exemption, I will not submit to weekly PCR tests which I believe are discriminatory (as we now know that everyone can catch and transmit infection, regardless of vaccination status), enormously inaccurate, and potentially dangerous in and of themselves. I highly doubt that my employer will allow me to work if I refuse to submit to weekly testing, so in all likelihood, that leaves me without a job in the very near future. We have been told that if we have not received our first shot by October 25, disciplinary actions will begin, up to and including termination.
I took a look at our current openings right now at the hospital system where I work here in Wisconsin. There are 284 open RN positions, 246 clinical support staff, 102 non-clinical support staff, 96 medical assistants, as well as a number of other miscellaneous positions. These are openings that exist right now, before the mandate deadline has passed. I know of at least four nurses in my department that will walk before they take the shot. In my department that is HALF of the dayshift. If the rest of Wisconsin and the country is anything like our hospital system, we will be facing a catastrophe of tragic, incredible, and completely avoidable proportions. We were short-staffed today when I worked, and I listened with frustration and despair as call lights went off for 5 to 10 minutes before being answered. I shudder to imagine what a hospital floor could look like with sicker patients and half the number of staff to take care of them. More mistakes will happen, and those that still work will burn out from the high stress. Almost daily, I receive a text begging me to work an extra shift, which includes incentive pay of an extra $40 per hour. I would not imagine that this is sustainable for any hospital budget. What happens then? Do those costs keep getting passed down to patients – costs that are already extremely exorbitant?
Senator Johnson, I implore you to make this issue among your top priorities in the immediate future. There needs to be a reversal of any policy that ties Medicare and Medicaid funding (or any hospital payments at all) to vaccine mandates for medical workers (including nursing homes) as well as any funding that requires hospitals to use specific CDC protocols for treatment. Doctors must be free to use their clinical judgment to make the best decisions for their patients, and not be handcuffed to some bureaucratic algorithm that is ineffective at best, and murderous at worst.
Also, if there is anything that you can do to fight back against all the censorship that is happening on social media, it would be greatly appreciated. People like me that are trying to speak out and share information are either being blocked, banned, or buried. We are being mocked and bullied and disparaged. Where is our true freedom of speech? So many of our liberties are being trampled. If we don’t stand up now, we may never have the chance to do so again.
If there is anything I can do additionally to assist in this fight for bodily autonomy and medical freedom of choice, please do not hesitate to reach out.
With respect and sincere appreciation for all you are doing,
Hello Senator Johnson,
I appreciate your willingness to listen to my story without prejudice, as this is a hard thing to come by these days.
I work as a professor of nursing. I am charged with leading students in learning nursing theory and in the clinical setting. I've been doing this for a few years now after I left bedside nursing at a large, local hospital. I became ill in November 2020. Our nursing students were distance learning at the time, but still attending in person clinicals. Because I would have direct contact with students, I got tested for the COVID-19 virus. The test came back positive. I experienced the myriad of notable symptoms (fatigue, loss of taste and smell, cough, chest congestion, nasal congestion, headache, and face and jaw pain). It wasn't pleasant. Even though I would have to sit up in bed to breathe and dug deep into the back of the medicine cupboard for an old, expired inhaler a couple of times, I treated my symptoms at home with rest, fluids, and vitamins. In fact, this is the exact treatment recommendation anyone with COVID-19 is given if they arrive at the emergency department with symptoms equal to mine. I'm not downplaying anyone that has been knocked down by this virus, but like influenza or any other respiratory virus, it effects everyone differently. There are no two cures the same. It's a virus.
What's important to understand is that everyone is quick to say things like, "If you would've been vaccinated, then ______ wouldn't have been so bad." "Trust the science." "Trust the experts." There is no science. There are no experts. We still have viruses. We still have the common cold. We still have people that get sick and recover. We also have people that get sick and die. This is the nature of the beast.
The only expert that has an intimate, working knowledge of how your body is going to respond to a virus or a particular treatment is you. Does a scientist know how you feel when you take Tylenol for a headache? Does a doctor know what your stomach feels like if you eat too much dairy? You are the only one with those answers. You are the expert of your own health. Why does an individual's expert opinion not matter? Sure, you can confer with others for advice, but at the end of the day, the decision about what you do to and with your body is yours alone. You have to live with your choices--not the scientist, not the doctor.
As a nursing professor, I've had many students approach me in terror at the thought of being forced to take a mandated and unstudied vaccine or give up their dreams of becoming a nurse. We teach nursing students the nursing code of ethics. It says that while we may not agree with what a patient ultimately decides for his/her own health, our duty is to provide education and then support the patient in whatever that final decision may be. Nurses are not allowed to inflict our opinions or pass judgement onto the patient. We also are not allowed to discriminate or refuse treatment to a patient because our beliefs do not align with that of the patient. This is the oath on which we pledge our profession and practice as nurses.
Some of the biggest issues today are the conversations occurring behind closed doors. Our nursing department faculty got together to decide how to handle the nearly 50% of students that hadn't yet received their COVID-19 vaccination and faced being dismissed from the nursing program unless they complied. The students were referred to as "ignorant," "uneducated," and "killers." This name calling, although deeply inappropriate, has become a cultural norm amongst the masses of those who decide that it is within their right to attack the personal choices of others.
But, if I were a student, or a parent of a student, that heard the interaction that I am about to share with you, you would be beyond furious. When it was determined by consensus of the faculty group that we were not to allow any special accommodations (switching of clinical assignments or sites to allow for an unvaccinated student to progress) and that would be the standard practice in all other nursing programs soon, one faculty member exclaimed to the group, "Good luck finding a new career!" And the group responded with laughter.
Let that sink in for a minute.
They laughed at the thought of someone's dreams being crushed. Remember, these students are ignorant and uneducated (their words, not mine). The freedoms of individuals are being stripped right before our eyes. The indoctrination of young minds is being instilled right before our eyes. The hatred amongst diversity is being fueled right before our eyes. But why do these nursing professors think that this is the moral and justified way to behave? Why are they going against the very code of ethics that we are supposed to be teaching to these nursing students? Why even have rules or moral code?
They are acting on a narrative--a story. The story that people are seeing on the news is inaccurate. The story that is being told is biased. Headlines read: "COVID hospital admissions up 300%." Taken into context, that headline should say, "Hospital with one COVID patient, now has three." Some will argue that hospitals are full and diverting patients, so the news reports this. They fail to mention that the hospital is full because they've closed down several units due to staffing shortages. Some of my old coworkers, who still work at the same hospital I used to be at, are telling me this. At a neighboring hospital, nurses have told me that providers are telling their nurses that they aren't allowed to report the vaccine reactions that they are seeing in the emergency room on the VAERS website (a reporting system to track adverse reactions to vaccines). A lot of nurses that are providing "stories" are not first-hand accounts. They are getting their "data" from the news. They are trolling social media and attacking anyone that speaks out with real information that doesn't align with the fairytale they believe from the news.
Nurses are tired. They're tired of being bullied. They are tired of being called names and coerced into a situation where they have to choose between their job and the jab. Do you think there's a nursing shortage now? Just you wait.
I apologize if this is long-winded. I have a lot of things to say and my mind has been racing lately trying to come up with reasonable solutions to help my students and really to help humanity.
I would absolutely love to be included in a round table discussion about different treatment options or solutions to fix this societal divide that is happening.
Thank you for your time.