Florida Doctors Unite In Protest Of Republican COVID Failure

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COVID-19 has recently been surging once more in Florida, with the state now leading every other in average daily hospitalizations connected to the virus. Hospitals have been forced to scale back non-emergency operations in order to leave resources for treating COVID-19 patients, and in Orlando, local officials recently called on residents to immediately start conserving water because of issues with the supply of liquid oxygen that is used for treating water ahead of use. The liquid oxygen has been used in Florida and elsewhere for COVID-19 patients. This week, a group of doctors in South Florida launched a protest over related issues.

“A group of around 75 South Florida doctors staged a walkout on Monday,” The Week explains, with their effort targeting those who have spread misinformation to vulnerable populations. Over and over, prominent conservatives have questioned the vaccines that have been developed against COVID-19, despite their documented safety, and high-profile Republicans, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have also spread baseless doubts about safety precautions targeting the virus. These sorts of antics on the part of these Republicans could leave those in their base resistant to measures that could quite literally save their lives. As reporter Kerry Sanders put it, the protesting doctors hope for people to “ignore the nonsense and the absurdities that you’re hearing people say at public meetings and recognize the value of what a vaccine will do.”

Dr. J.T. Snarksi, who participated in the protest, commented as follows:

‘It’s incredibly frustrating because we know vaccines are safe and effective… And it’s people who go out and talk against them that really go against physicians and medicine and science… It’s not the message we want to get across to people. Vaccines are safe and we need to get our communities vaccinated.’

At a recent Alabama rally, boos emerged from the crowd after former President Donald Trump urged attendees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, showing just how entrenched that certain right-wingers are in their opposition to vaccines. This worldview is, at least in part, a product of those in positions of leadership among Republicans who have decided to go along with anti-vaccine rhetoric, garnering political gain in the process, instead of sharing the facts about the situation with people.