I have three things to say about this.
More than 150 Houston Methodist Hospital employees resigned or have been fired as of Tuesday over a recent policy that required hospital employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday.
All told, 153 people are no longer employees of the Houston health care chain, Methodist spokesperson Patti Muck said. The hospital has about 25,000 employees, nearly all of whom have abided by the policy, Methodist leaders have said previously.
The firings follow a contentious few weeks in which hospital employees staged protests and filed a lawsuit against the hospital, claiming the policy, announced in April, violated their rights. Methodist was one of the first large health care providers in the country to announce vaccine requirements.
“I’m so happy and relieved,” Jennifer Bridges, the lead plaintiff in the suit, said Tuesday. “I don’t want any part of Methodist.”
Earlier this month, a federal judge tossed the lawsuit filed by more than 100 Methodist employees, most of whom were not doctors or nurses. In it, the plaintiffs argued Methodist’s policy violated the Nuremberg Codes, a World War II-era agreement that bans involuntary participation in medical trials.
Bridges said Tuesday that she and others planned to protest outside Methodist on Saturday, and that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will be in attendance.
1. I strongly suspect Methodist would say that the feeling is mutual, Jennifer.
2. Inviting Alex Jones to your protest really makes one question the previous statements made about how these folks are not anti-vaccine, just super cautious about this particular vaccine.
3. As Methodist cardiovascular technician Deedee Mattoa says in this story, the real surprise here is not that Methodist followed through, but that Memorial Hermann and Baylor College of Medicine, which have made public promises to require COVID-19 vaccines but have not set deadlines for when staff will need the shots, have not yet followed suit. What are you guys waiting for? The Trib has more.