Dozens of South Florida doctors staged a walkout on Monday to protest the number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients flooding their hospital in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Just before sunrise, about 75 doctors stepped outside their hospitals and offices temporarily to stand together and encourage the community to get vaccinated. The doctors were not on duty at the time, gathering either before or after their shifts, according to a spokesperson. Jupiter Medical Center emergency room doctor Ethan Chapin lamented the “number of people that I’m going to see today who I don’t need to, who don’t need to be there, who shouldn’t have been there in the first place if they’d taken the simple advice of getting vaccinated.”
The doctors spoke out shortly before the Food and Drug Administration granted the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine full approval. More than 150,000 people in Florida tested positive for COVID-19 in the week that ended Friday as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis continued to battle mask mandates and refused to push for vaccinations.
“We are exhausted. Our patience and resources are running low and we need your help,” Dr. Rupesh Dharia from Palm Beach Internal Medicine told WFLA. Hospitals in the state are at 84.6% capacity, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Only a little over half of the state’s population — 51.6% — is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to data from the Mayo Clinic.
ARTICLE: JENNIFER BARRETO-LEYVA
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THEPARADISE.NG
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