In a story by Tony Leys, of the Des Moines Register, (picked up by USA Today), we read:
I’m not disputing the claim that his survivors blame the Covid surge, but I do have a problem with misleading way the story is presented:
DES MOINES, Iowa – Dale Weeks’ family believes he was an indirect victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The retired Iowa school superintendent died in late November, nearly a month after he was diagnosed with sepsis, a dangerous, blood-borne infection unrelated to the coronavirus.
His daughters think he might have survived if he’d been admitted immediately to a large medical center, where he could have received advanced testing and prompt surgery.
But he stayed for 15 days at Newton’s relatively small hospital because the bigger Iowa facilities said they couldn’t spare a bed for him, his family says. Iowa’s short-staffed hospitals have been jammed for months with patients, including people severely sickened by coronavirus.
“It’s infuriating that people who are not vaccinated are clogging it up,” said Jenifer Owenson of Des Moines, who is one of Weeks’ four children…
On Nov. 17, after 15 days, he was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals by ambulance. Doctors there determined on Nov. 25 that he needed surgery to clear out a severe infection of an artery near his stomach, where years earlier he’d had a stent installed to repair an aneurysm.
“They said he really had no choice. He needed to have this surgery, or he would die in a few days,” said Owenson’s twin sister, Julia Simanski of Ankeny…
He died on Nov. 28 at age 78…
Representatives of the hospitals declined to comment on Weeks’ case, but they acknowledged the frustration caused by hospital crowding.
“In addition to an increased number of COVID-19 cases and spread of the delta and omicron variants, hospitals across the country are dealing with traumas and experiencing multiple types of illness,” MercyOne spokesperson Marcy Peterson wrote in an email to the Des Moines Register. “This demand is coupled with a reduced number of staff to care for patients. These challenges can strain available resources and contribute to delays in care or other complications for patients.”
She noted that unvaccinated people make up a large percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
We’re told that the likely cause of his death is “overcrowding of hospitals due to Covid, and exacerbated by the large number of unvaccinated people” – but did you notice another factor that is brought up in passing? It’s in paragraph 14, very close to the end of the article (which few people bother to read):
This demand is coupled with a reduced number of staff to care for patients
One wonders what caused this “reduced number of staff,” and if it might have something to do with vaccine policies rolled out just prior to Mr. Weeks’ death.
In a September 14th article, Iowapublicradio.org tells us:
Citing Concerns Over Staffing Shortages, Some Health Care Providers Hesitate To Issue COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
Kari Gates was one of the protest’s organizers leading chants against the hospital’s recently-announced vaccine mandate for its employees.
She’s a registered nurse at another large Des Moines hospital that’s requiring all employees to be vaccinated this fall. She wouldn’t say which one. But Gates said she opposes all employee mandates.
“Because, you know, medical freedom is very important. You should always be able to decide, you know, what goes into your body, what is done to your body,” Gates said.
Gates said she’s applied for a religious exemption, and if she doesn’t get it, she’s ready to quit.
“I’m not stopping. I feel very strongly about this. And I know a lot of people in this group — all these people behind you — feel the same way,” she said. “So hopefully hospitals think about that, because I think that they might lose a lot of employees.”
And then in November, just as Weeks was struggling for his life, Iowa hospitals began enforcing the vaccine mandate for their staffs.
When “news” sources highlight one perspective, in a case such as this, and downplay another, then what we have is not “news” but propaganda.