Nurses, Others Protest Vaccine Mandates In Concord: Watch
Medical workers, their supporters are holding protests outside hospitals to raise awareness about potential lost jobs, health care freedom.
CONCORD, NH — Nurses, hospital workers, and their supporters have been outside of Concord’s medical complex during the past few weeks protesting vaccine mandates issued by both hospital administrators and now, the Biden Administration.
The protests have been organized by Terese Grinnell, a nurse who cornered Republican legislators on Tuesday at the Statehouse during a press conference that turned into a rally, about the loss of thousands of jobs due to nurses and other employees being forced to take a vaccination they do not trust. The protests have been held on Monday and Wednesday around lunchtime and Fridays in the late afternoon. The Friday protests have been better attended than the others, she noted.
Grinnell, who formerly worked at both Concord Hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock, and in in-home health care, has worked in the medical field for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked with a number of patients who had severe adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines.
“I have actually seen patients with the clotting … I have seen patients with the strokes,” she said.
Grinnell said the forced vaccinations were unconstitutional and not proven effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, especially the new, highly contagious variants. She pointed to a recent outbreak at Franklin Regional Hospital, a Concord Hospital property, where nurses who were all vaccinated caught COVID-19.
Pamela Puleo, the chief advancement officer at Concord Hospital, confirmed seven employees were COVID-19 positive at Franklin Regional Hospital, including two nurses.
“This is not considered an outbreak,” she said. “We are monitoring as we have since the beginning of the pandemic and following all state guidelines.”
More than 5,700 health care workers in New Hampshire have caught the virus while only 86 were hospitalized and there were 10 deaths during the past 19 months of the pandemic, according to state data. Those health care workers should be immune and have better antibodies than the vaccine gives them, making the mandate unneeded for them. Grinnell said she had not caught the virus despite not being vaccinated and being around contagious patients. She said health care workers were smart and take precautions to protect both themselves and patients including extensive and thorough use of personal protection equipment.
“I understand people are scared,” Grinnell said. “I understand people want COVID to be over. But just because you’re scared of COVID, does not, rationally, give you the ability to force someone to do something that is scary to them.”
Grinnell has been in touch with a number of nurses and medical employees around the state. The response has been positive from both drivers and others during the protests, she said. The fear, Grinnell added, was hospitals, many of which are already understaffed in New Hampshire, will be placed in worse conditions due to the mandate.
At Concord Hospital, she said, more than 900 employees were slated to be fired in late October.
The hospital did not respond to a request to confirm the number of employees who might be fired in October.
While at the Pleasant Street and Langley Parkway protest for 45 minutes on Wednesday, at least a half dozen workers were seen joining the protesters during their lunch hours. While pigeonholed as all being Trump supporters or Republicans, attendees appeared to be a mix politically.
People honking their horns were also a mix of New Hampshire’s citizenry — at least two ambulance drivers activated their sirens and horns as they drove by. Truckers did, too. A number of drivers waved while some were seen scolding the protesters, too. Several women in Subarus and Priuses, a couple with liberal bumper stickers adorning the backs of their vehicles, also raised fists out their car windows and honked their horns in solidarity.
“My hope in being out here is there would be enough pushback,” Grinnell said, “from people and even the medical facility administrators and government entities to say ‘no’ (to the firings and forced vaccinations).”