Story at a glance:
- South Florida doctors held a press conference on Monday.
- Health care workers report exhaustion as they battle a surge of new and unvaccinated patients.
- Florida has some of the highest rates of new COVID-19 cases in the latest wave fueled by the delta variant.
A group of 75 South Florida doctors staged a news conference Monday outside a medical office to urge people to get the COVID-19 vaccine and wear masks as the state battles a wave of new infections and hospitalizations driven by the delta variant.
The conference took place before office hours and included leadership and staff from surrounding hospitals, according to The Associated Press (AP).
“We are exhausted. Our patience and resources are running low and we need your help,” Rupesh Dharia from Palm Beach Internal Medicine told NBC 8.
Health care workers are reporting high rates of fatigue and burnout, on top of frustration over the lack of vaccinations among patients and the public, according to The Wall Street Journal.
As Changing America previously reported, Florida has some of the highest cases of COVID-19, most of which are due to the delta variant. The state set yet another record for daily cases on Aug. 11, reporting 24,753 new coronavirus cases that day.
The event was originally misreported as a walk out, but organizers said that the event was always scheduled as a press conference that would not interfere with the work of physicians. An email invite to the event described it as a “Community ‘Get Vaccinated’ event,” and did not use the words “protest” or “walkout.”
“This was a physician driven press conference to encourage our community to get vaccinated and talk about the impact this has had on our community,” Buczyner told the AP in an email.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Aug. 24 to reflect that the event was a news conference.
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