On Tuesday, Alaska Public Radio reported that Anchorage's Republican mayor tried to pin hospital staff shortages on vaccine mandates, suggesting that health care workers are resigning in droves rather than comply. But hospital officials are smacking down this suggestion, saying this is simply not happening.
Alaska is currently experiencing a massive surge of COVID-19 cases, which has forced the state to authorize care rationing.
"While Alaska hospitals say they're overwhelmed with an unrelenting surge of coronavirus patients, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson is pointing to vaccine mandates as one reason hospitals can't keep up," reported Liz Ruskin. "'The lingering pandemic, coupled with historically busy hospitals this time of year, as well as some employers forcing employees who chose not to be vaccinated to lose their jobs, have contributed to a staffing shortage,' Bronson said in a Facebook post Sunday."
According to the report, hospitals in the Anchorage area have not reported any such thing.
"Jared Kosin, head of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, said the high volume of complex COVID patients is the reason hospitals are overwhelmed. Blaming the staffing shortage on hospital-imposed vaccine mandates is reckless, he said," continued the report. "'From all hospitals and nursing homes that are dealing with this, I have not heard a single concern that there's going to be a mass exodus of staff over these requirements,' he said."
As new vaccine mandates have come down around the country, a number of public officials have threatened mass resignations, but so far few have been reported. The union representing the Massachusetts State Police threatened that "dozens" of officers would resign from the force of roughly 1,800, but so far only one has actually moved to do so.