by Shane Smith, Guest Contributor
These graphs are from Rational Grounds’ incredibly useful tool that is found on their website. Anyone can use it. The orange waves are COVID, dark blue total patient occupancy, and light blue represents staffed beds. Does this look like a crisis to you? Just to be fair, lets look at ICU occupancy in Oklahoma County, where many of our state’s major hospitals operate:
Essentially identical to the rest of the state. Now, look at that light blue line. That represents staffed beds. If we are truly in a pandemic, how much effort have the largest hospitals in this state made to increase staffed beds to meet what they deem to be a crisis? Four of Oklahoma City’s largest hospitals (OU Health, SSM St. Anthony, Mercy, Integris) appear determined to ratchet the state of fear into the stratosphere. But have they done anything to increase their ability to handle a crisis-level patient load? These hospitals insist that they are in crisis, however, according to the CDC these hospitals have been on the receiving end of millions in COVID relief funds. Integris Baptist Medical Center received $17.7 million, Mercy hospital received over $20 million, Integris Bass Baptist Health Center received $26.4 million, SSM Healthcare of Oklahoma received a $39.8 million, and OU Medicine received a whopping $70 million. How much of this went to increasing capacity? From the looks of the above graphs, not much. So where did it go?
The public has been forced to endure somber “joint news conferences” from these hospitals regarding their various crises. “It feels and sometimes even looks like a warzone”, said Integris CMO Julie Watson in a recent news article. This is reckless language coming from someone who knows better, and no one among our major media outlets even questions it. It appears that the largest Oklahoma newspapers act as nothing more than stenographers for these hospital administrators.
Another big question that needs to be answered is this: how many staff members from these hospitals have been fired for declining the COVID vaccine? If this is truly a crisis, would these hospitals do something so reckless as this? Would they not do everything in their capacity to not only retain the highest trained employees but bring on as many new personnel as possible? Instead, the state has called on active duty military medical personnel to help ease the staffing loads. Would this have been necessary if the hospital systems would have focused on hiring and retention instead of endless fearmongering?
One more graph for the road, one that visualizes pediatric COVID hospitalizations. I’ve highlighted August 21st, since this was roughly when schools reopened statewide, almost all without a mask mandate. Remember, if you will, the “sky will fall!” cries from hospitals and public health officials, who warned us of impending doom if our governor didn’t declare a state of emergency and implement strict mask mandates. This is what really happened:
Just look at that dramatic decline in childhood hospitalizations up to late December, even as the vast majority of the state’s children returned to mask-free, in-person school. There was never going to be a crisis. Yet Pfizer has now asked the CDC to approved the Covid “vaccine” for children as young as 6 months old.
Everyone currently crying wolf over the latest COVID crisis has been wrong at every juncture of the pandemic. We need to remember that, and refuse to allow them to hide behind their credentials. Don’t just take their word for it. Demand evidence.
– Shane Smith is a pro-liberty writer based out of Norman, OK. He currently writes a quarterly article for the Oklahoma Constitution.