Missed The Point - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1818793

Missed The Point

Recently, State Senator Anthony Palumbo and I penned a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul, which was direct in its message: It simply recognized the reality that many of our hospitals and nursing homes are already stressed in the face of the pandemic. Further, with the September 27 deadline fast approaching for the required vaccination of health care workers, it is inevitable that some who work in health care will refuse the vaccine and will leave their jobs, potentially placing further pressure on our health care system.

The state needs a plan to continue to provide quality health services in the face of such potential staffing losses. Our constituents expect and deserve nothing less. This is particularly an issue on the East End, where housing and transportation issues already make the recruitment and retention of workers difficult.

In short, we were simply requesting that a plan be developed as to how quality health services will be maintained if such staffing losses do actually occur. The governor has the same concern. She has said, subsequent to our letter, that state officials are trying “to figure out how we can send support, if necessary.”

Your story about our letter [“Thiele, Palumbo Say Vax Mandate Could Hamstring Hospitals,” 27east.com, September 8] completely missed the point.

We were addressing the now universally accepted concern about the impact of potential staffing losses on the delivery of health care. Instead, you somehow implied that we were commenting on the merits of the vaccine mandate itself. We were not.

Perhaps the story was just a poorly researched and written story. If there was any question about the intent of our letter, I would have been glad to explain — but neither the Senator nor I were ever contacted by the reporter.

Fred Thiele


New York State Assembly