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The collateral damage of the Republican war on the vaccine

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These stories continue to absolutely infuriate me:

Throughout his life, Dale Weeks was characterized by family and friends in Iowa as “a good neighbor,” someone who would do anything for anyone. So when he was diagnosed with sepsis last month, the retired schools superintendent and his family hoped he would get immediate care and be okay to reunite with them for the holidays.

But at a time when unvaccinated covid-19 patients have again overwhelmed hospitals because of the fast-spreading omicron variant, finding an available bed at a large medical center able to give him the treatment he needed proved to be difficult. Weeks was being treated at a small, rural hospital. He had waited 15 days to be transferred to a larger hospital with better treatment options, because facilities throughout Iowa did not have an open bed for him as a result of the latest hospital surge of unvaccinated patients, his children told The Washington Post.

“It was terribly frustrating being told, ‘There’s not a bed yet,’ ” Jenifer Owenson, one of his four children, said Tuesday. “All of us were talking multiple times a day, ‘Why can’t we get him a bed?’ There was this logjam to get him in anywhere.”

When Weeks was finally able to have surgery more than two weeks later, his condition from sepsis had worsened. Weeks died Nov. 28 of complications after surgery. He was 78.

Anthony Weeks, his son, said that the family believes their vaccinated and boosted father was the latest indirect victim of the pandemic — and that he would have survived his sepsis diagnosis if he was immediately admitted to a larger medical center that had an open bed.

The idea that COVID vaccination should be treated as a matter of individual consumer preference is absolutely brain-dead nihilism, and hence as American as making it harder for racial minorities to vote.

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