Oregon Consultant / Nurse: Masks Mandate “Is not About Politics”

by: Jennifer Dowling, KOIN 6 news agents

Posted: Aug 13, 2021 / 9:56 PM PDT
Updated: Aug 13, 2021 / 10:17 PM PDT

MILWAUKIE, Ore. (KOIN) – There are many people in Clackamas County who are in favor of the inner mask mandate, though Chairman Tootie Smith is firmly against it.

Yesenia Mata from Milwaukie said she wears her mask indoors and on public transport. She told KOIN 6 News, “I’m fine with the mask thing.”

Speaking to dozen of unmasked parishioners at a Clackamas County board meeting Thursday, Chairman Smith called Governor Kate Brown’s masked mandate “unacceptable.”

“Vaccination and masking requirements are wrong and do nothing to improve public health,” she said.

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But Oregon MP Rachel Prusak, who is also a nurse, said masking requirements are necessary to save lives. She said she is seeing the effects of the virus firsthand in her work.

“I really believe the next few weeks will be very tough for our workers and our health system,” she said. “To know that we are restoring a mask mandate to save lives and that someone in the leadership would speak out against it – despite the recommendation of healthcare providers, even though healthcare providers have worked so hard over the past 18 months – I had to raise my voice. “

Smith also slammed the governor for testifying hospital capacity.

“[Brown] weeps about hospital capacity – so use the money given to our state by the federal government to increase hospital capacity, ”said Smith.

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Prusak said it wasn’t that easy.

“We can’t just snap our fingers and we have more capacity. We could set up a bed, but who will take care of the patient in bed? Who will intubate this patient in bed? Who makes sure that the patients are cared for during their illness? ”She asked.

Prusak said frontline nurses and doctors are exhausted and hospitals are filling up. She said the situation affects everyone, whether they have COVID-19 or not.

“Patients are being distracted from emergency rooms,” said Prusak. “This is not about politics. This is about health care. “

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