- An Arkansas doctor described fear on the faces of dying, unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.
- Cases are surging in the state, which lags behind much of the US in vaccination rates.
- Gov. Asa Hutchinson has urged people to get the shot.
An Arkansas doctor gave an emotional plea for people to get vaccinated, describing “regret and remorse” on the faces of patients dying with COVID-19.
Speaking from a coronavirus unit in Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Dr. Michael Bolding said he wished people could see these patients’ faces. The video, posted on Facebook on July 16, has been shared more than 6,300 times.
Bolding said the sick people knew “that they may be short for this world because they didn’t get their vaccine.”
“The regret and remorse on their face — and fear — I can’t show you, I can’t describe,” he said.
“But that look on a patient’s face, I promise you, would be more motivating than anything to go ahead and get your vaccine if you have not already,” he said.
The state has experienced a major surge in cases and lags behind much of the US in vaccination rates.
Bolding described a “dramatic rise” in unvaccinated patients in their 20s and 30s who needed to be hospitalized. He emphasized that many of them were “younger, healthier patients with no comorbid conditions” who needed advanced care.
“I have had to call multiple fathers and mothers of preschoolers — in their 20s and 30s — and tell them that their spouse may very well not survive this hospitalization,” he added.
He said medics were exhausted after 16 months of unrelenting effort.
By mid-July, new cases in the state had almost tripled in two weeks, and they have continued to surge, according to The New York Times’ case tracker.
On Saturday alone, the state reported 2,015 new cases, The Times said.
Last week, Washington Regional Medical System shifted to the second phase of its COVID-19 surge plan, reducing visiting hours and reassigning medical staff to cope with the influx of new cases.
It said regional hospitals had seen a 538% increase in hospitalized patients in the past month, though it didn’t specify whether they all had COVID-19.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said on Thursday that Arkansas had fallen victim to the…