Michigan’s Beaumont Health, a once nationally respected hospital system until it was destroyed by CEO John Fox, last week received emergency unusual emergency medical assistance from the federal government because of a surge of covid cases at its suburban Dearborn hospital. Dr. Matthew Sims, Beaumont’s director of infectious disease research, told the Detroit News that the hospital system’s patients are “almost exclusively unvaccinated.”

I’ve obtained Beaumont’s internet covid stats for Wednesday, Dec. 1. They tell a slightly different story.

The hospital network had 608 covid patients system-wide, of which 26 percent were fully vaccinated. Of the 75 covid patients in Beaumont’s ICUs, 27 percent were fully vaccinated. There were 51 patients on ventilators of which 14 percent were fully vaccinated.

Beaumont defines unvaccinated as anyone who hasn’t received two-doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines within the previous 14 days.

Admittedly, the majority of Beaumont’s covid patients are unvaccinated. But claiming that the unvaccinated are solely responsible is deceptive, a ploy to villainize them. It also could give the vaccinated a false sense that they aren’t vulnerable. According to one Beaumont source, the majority of acute covid cases involve patients with underlying conditions.

Beaumont’s Fox in September implied the unvaccinated were responsible for hours long waits at its emergency rooms. “Our staff must care for those unvaccinated individuals who become extremely ill with the COVID Delta variant, or other variants, and try to balance all the other patients coming in with medical emergencies,” Fox said in a September statement pleading with area residents to avoid Beaumont emergency rooms if possible.

I obtained Beaumont’s covid stats at the time Fox made that statement. On September 13, Beaumont had 227 COVID patients throughout its eight hospitals. Of those, 30 percent were fully vaccinated. In the ICUs, there were 37 covid patients, of which 24 percent were fully vaccinated. There were 21 COVID patients on ventilators, seven of them fully vaccinated.

Beaumont is a troubled hospital system awaiting FTC approval for Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health to take it over. Virtually the company’s entire senior management left or was forced out in anticipation of the takeover, which Fox expected would be completed before year-end. The FTC is backlogged and approval isn’t expected for months.

I’ve previously reported on how Fox and his PR guy Mark Geary play fast and loose with the facts. It’s a wonder to me how a reporter could accept any Beaumont statement without skepticism.

In March, Fox published a commentary in the Detroit Free Press warning the pandemic could lead to an “implosion” of the U.S. healthcare system. Beaumont, a supposedly “nonprofit” hospital, added $1 billion to its sizeable $2.5 billion reserve last year. Beaumont paid John Fox  a $2.6 million bonus just weeks before pleading to the federal government for a federal bailout.

At the height of the pandemic in Michigan last year, Fox inexplicably closed a hospital in suburban Wayne that was designated for covid patients. The local ABC television station reported that dozens of patients, some on ventilators, were transported to other area hospitals. One of those patients was listed as unstable for transfer and died. Geary told the station that Beaumont “worked with the state of Michigan” on the transfers. A spokesperson for Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the state “does not authorize patient transfers.”

The ABC affiliate obtained an internal Beaumont memo that claimed, “John Fox went to Gretchen Whitmer and said Beaumont health cannot sustain all the Covid patients because financially it will ruin our business … We are bleeding money out of our system.”

John Fox

It’s unlikely Beaumont is the only hospital falsely blaming the unvaccinated entirely for its surge of covid cases. In September, a leaked Zoom video revealed that the marketing director of Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center was looking for ways to heighten fears about covid and the unvaccinated.

To my knowledge, there are no penalties or fines if hospitals falsely claim that the unvaccinated are almost exclusively responsible for their surge in covid cases. I imagine the FTC might even look favorably on a hospital reinforcing the Biden Administration’s and the media’s vaccine narratives.

Spectrum Health, which received emergency federal medical assistance as well, also claimed the unvaccinated were overwhelming its hospital system. Despite needing federal assistance to manage their covid loads, Spectrum and Beaumont aren’t too overwhelmed to call off their marriage.

The hospital systems in September said they continue to make “progress” integrating the two systems. Based on the golden parachute payments his predecessor reportedly received, Fox possibly will be paid more than $30 million if Spectrum completes its takeover. Fox will be long gone before the payment will be disclosed.

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