"There are no beds," announced Geoff Lifferth, the chief medical officer of the Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin. "In Middle Tennessee right now it is impossible to find an empty, staffed ICU, ER, or med/surg bed."
The news was shared on the hospital's Facebook page and captured by NewsChannel 5 out of Nashville, Tennessee, Thursday evening. His frustrated message continued, "As an ER doc and a healthcare administrator, this past week has been one of the most exhausting and disheartening of my career."
He went on to say that the delta variant "burned through us with a ferocity that's hard to describe.' He explained that it was just six weeks ago that there were a total of 200 COVID-19 cases in the whole state of Tennessee. Now there is a 1,000 percent increase.
"It has overwhelmed tired doctors, nurses and healthcare systems that were already stretched thin," Dr. Lifferth continued. "The vaccines? They're good. No, they're not perfect. And yes, we are seeing more breakthrough infections with the Delta variant. But there's a reason 96 percent of physicians got it — the risk/benefit analysis overwhelmingly favors the vaccines. Get one."
He described the ongoing debate over masks and freedoms and "my body my choice," but at a time when infections are spreading so quickly, he doesn't appear to care.
"There's been a lot of talk about personal freedoms, and mandates, and government overreach and such. And, someday when the sun is shining again, we can sit down and have some interesting conversations about all that. I might even agree with you on some of those points. But I can't do that today. Not today. Because there are no beds," he closed.
Wednesday, Tennessee state Republicans called for a special session so that they could move forward with limiting local governments attempting to implement mask mandates or other protective measures, reported the Associated Press.
"We believe there is a need to curtail the overreach by independent health boards and officials, confirm a parent's right to make decisions that impact the mental and physical health of their children, provide support and direction to schools to ensure educators are properly compensated for COVID-19 leave, and protect all Tennesseans from misdirected mandated designed to limit their ability to make their own decisions," wrote Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton.
See the full post from the doctor below: