More than 150 people who worked at the Houston Methodist Hospital chain but refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine have either been fired or quit, according to a new report.
“A total of 153 employees who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine have resigned or been fired. A spokesperson with Houston Methodist confirmed to FOX 26 these employees were out of the 178, who were suspended after the June 7th deadline,” Fox 26 Houston reported.
“The employees who became compliant during the suspension period returned to work the day after they became compliant,” the spokesperson told the station in an email.
But Jennifer Bridges, who was a nurse in the hospital system, told Fox 26 that more employees have left. “A lot of people resigned weeks ago. Some people resigned too just a couple of days before the deadline,” she said. “We had a lot of physicians resign ahead of time and are stuck in the same boat too because they didn’t want to take the shot.”
Earlier this month, a federal judge tossed a lawsuit filed by more than 100 employees of the hospital system, who objected to a mandate to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
Houston Methodist Hospital, which manages eight hospitals, gave employees until June 7 to get the vaccine, or they could be suspended or fired. Before that, though, 117 full- and part-time workers filed a lawsuit.
But U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes of Houston ruled Saturday that the argument from lead plaintiff Bridges that the vaccines are “experimental and dangerous” is false. The judge also said Bridges’ contention that the vaccine requirement is tantamount to the Nazis’ medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners during the Holocaust was “reprehensible.”
And Hughes also said that a business can require workers to get a vaccine and is not coercion, as Bridges claimed in the lawsuit. “Bridges can freely choose to accept or refuse a COVID-19 vaccine; however, if she refuses, she will simply need to work somewhere else,” Hughes wrote.
“If a worker refuses an assignment, changed office, earlier start time, or other directive, he may be properly fired. Every employment includes limits on the worker’s behavior in exchange for remuneration. That is all part of the bargain,” the judge said.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Jared Woodfill, disagreed and vowed to file an appeal. “All of my clients continue to be committed to fighting this unjust policy,” Woodfill said in a statement.
“What is shocking is that many of my clients were on the front line treating COVID-positive patients at Texas Methodist Hospital during the height of the pandemic. As a result, many of them contracted COVID-19. As a thank you for their service and sacrifice, Methodist Hospital awards them a pink slip and sentences them to bankruptcy,” Woodfill said.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not fully approved the vaccines, instead issuing only emergency use authorization. They alleged the hospital is “illegally requiring its employees to be injected with an experimental vaccine as a condition of employment.”
The complaint also cited the Nuremberg Code, which “bans forced medical experimentations, again in effect arguing that the vaccine is experimental and potentially unsafe,” Fox News reported.
The CDC encourages the use of the vaccines, calling them “safe and effective,” noting that “millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.”