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The widespread hemorrhaging of experienced public- and private-sector employees — a “man-made disaster of historic proportions,” according to former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul — is hollowing out some of the most important public-facing professions in the country.
Although many factors are at play, COVID vaccine mandates are a significant contributor, with employers refusing to honor the option to refuse Emergency Use Authorization COVID vaccines that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supposedly guaranteed.
The result has been the threatened or actual mass firing and resignation of thousands of unvaccinated workers in critical sectors like healthcare, policing, firefighting, education and aviation, with skilled and experienced workers prepared to “leave if that’s what it comes to” rather than take the risky shots.
Even though these departures are “drastically overwhelming employers’ ability to replace them,” many of the politicians and corporate executives pushing the mandates seem weirdly at ease with their policy.
This complacency begs the question: Is the sabotage of air travel, high-quality healthcare, first-responder capability and other core services an intentional step designed to further weaken Americans’ resilience and expand authoritarian controls?
Flying the friendly skies
In one of the most widely publicized recent examples of workforce havoc, Southwest Airlines had to ground 35% of its scheduled flights this past holiday weekend, less than a week after the carrier mandated COVID vaccines for all employees.
The airline’s feeble explanation — bad weather and other problems — left many stranded passengers “confounded … because weather was clear over most of the country, particularly near airports that had lots of delays and cancellations.”
As Paul wryly noted, “the weather problems that Southwest claims to be experiencing seem unique to that carrier.”
In “methinks they doth protest too much” fashion, the airline, the pilots union and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are telling the public that the flight upheaval had nothing to do with employee ire over the vaccine edict.
However, one news report indicated that on the Friday in question, only three of 35 pilots showed up for work at Southwest’s Jacksonville hub, suggesting the pilots — at least 50% of whom are unvaccinated — are “drawing a line in the sand.”
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association has gone so far as to criticize the company’s mandate as a “bad move,” stating pilot fatigue is already at triple its historic levels, with flights “operating at a higher than normal operational risk.”
Seeking to reassure its employees, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told ABC News in an interview after the travel kerfuffle, “we’re not going to fire any employees over this [vaccine mandates].” Kelly said Southwest would urge unvaccinated employees to “seek an accommodation.”
Certainly, further outflows of competent personnel unwilling to be jabbed would exacerbate understaffing problems — and increase airline customer risks.
Adverse events in mid-air?
Commercial airline executives and pilots would be well-advised to read the affidavit submitted in late September by Lt. Col. Colonel Theresa Long, M.D., brigade surgeon for the 1st Aviation Brigade in Ft. Rucker, Alabama. Long is “responsible for certifying the health, mental and physical ability and readiness for … nearly 4,000 individuals on flight status.”
The affidavit highlights serious concerns about vaccinated pilots’ fitness for duty in light of myocarditis and other cardiac risks linked to COVID injections — problems that potentially could cause pilots to die in mid-flight.
Military aviators, Long points out, must meet “the most stringent medical standards” in the entire military to be eligible for flight status. In the private sector, heart problems can cause pilots to lose their commercial airline license.
In Long’s view, it is highly likely that “all persons who have received a COVID-19 Vaccine are damaged in their cardiovascular system in an irreparable and irrevocable manner.”
Noting that she has ascertained development of “significant and aggressive systemic health issues” in multiple flight crew members within 48 hours of vaccination, Long described one particularly alarming case:
“I personally observed the most physically fit female soldier I have seen in over 20 years in the Army, go from collegiate-level athlete training for Ranger School, to being physically debilitated with cardiac problems, newly diagnosed pituitary brain tumor [and] thyroid dysfunction within weeks of getting vaccinated.”
Other military physician-colleagues, Long said, are also reporting “firsthand experience with a significant increase in the number of young soldiers with migraines, menstrual irregularities, cancer, suspected myocarditis and reporting cardiac symptoms after vaccination.”
For young and fit pilots, the conclusion is obvious: COVID vaccines “are more risky, harmful and dangerous than having no vaccine at all,” Long said.
Many members of the military have apparently reached similar conclusions. With only 62 deaths attributed to COVID during the entire pandemic — out of 2.1 million troops — hundreds of thousands of service members are not in compliance with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Nov. 2 deadline to be fully vaccinated.
In February, a poll found that 53% of active-duty personnel, spouses and veterans had no plans to get injected.
Long said military flight crews present “extraordinary risks,” not just to themselves, but also to others “given the equipment they operate, munitions carried thereon and areas of operation in close proximity to populated areas.”
Her recommendations? “[A]ll pilots, crew and flight personnel in the military service who … received any COVID-19 vaccination [should] be grounded” and the “[c]ompulsory SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination program should be immediately suspended.”
Where are we headed?
Far from being receptive to the attempts by Long and at least 15 of her colleagues to share their disturbing observations with military superiors, the physicians say they are being ignored, rejected, ostracized or met with “threats of punishment.”
Long therefore issued her affidavit under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, fully cognizant of the “horrific repercussions” her whistleblowing may have on her “career, [her] relationships and life as an Army doctor.”
The Ft. Rucker brass’s lack of interest in the impact of the experimental vaccines on pilot health is puzzling in light of Government Accountability Office (GAO) analyses showing there are already acute shortages of military pilots.
In late September, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw reminded the secretary of defense that military readiness is subpar and tweeted, “are you really willing to allow a huge exodus of experienced service members just because they won’t take the vaccine?”
Question for the SECDEF: are you really willing to allow a huge exodus of experienced service members just because they won’t take the vaccine?
Honestly, Americans deserve to know how you plan on dealing with this blow to force readiness – it’s already causing serious problems.
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) September 21, 2021
With the U.S. mired in “the worst … healthcare labor crisis in memory,” the same question could be directed to hospital CEOs who seem willing to let go of sizeable proportions of employees — even if it means adopting drastic measures such as refusing patients, closing departments or leaving beds empty.
Fed up, 96% of union members working at Kaiser Permanente in California and Oregon just voted to go out on strike.
Notably, hospitals earned record windfall profits last year from COVID federal stimulus and Medicare add-ons for ventilator intervention, even as they furloughed, laid off or cut the pay of frontline health workers in the midst of a “pandemic.”
And this year, politicians like New York’s unelected governor seem blithely willing to let the experienced health workers who took those furloughs and pay cuts go, bringing in pinch-hitting National Guard members or imported foreign workers.
It may still be too soon to untangle the full array of corporate and political interests driving the counterproductive policies that are chasing out large swaths of competent health workers, first responders, aviation workers and service members — while demoralizing (or sickening via COVID injection) those who comply with mandates and remain.
One thing is for sure, however: COVID-19 vaccines increase the risk of blood clots and so does air travel, which could make flight personnel especially vulnerable. Members of the public who take to the skies would surely rather have an experienced unvaccinated pilot who is of the caliber of a Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in the cockpit — rather than a “second-string” vaccinated pilot who could be at higher risk of dying in mid-flight.