A group of North Texas doctors have retreated on a policy plan in which vaccination status would be considered amid a worst-case scenario of hospitals running out of beds amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dallas Morning News reported the North Texas Mass Critical Care Guideline Task Force sent a copy of an internal memo written by group co-chair Dr. Robert Fine, which suggested doctors be allowed to take vaccination status of sick patients into account along with other factors when seeing who gets a bed on Thursday (August 19) afternoon.
On Thursday night, however, Dr. Mark Casanova, director of clinical ethics for Baylor University Medical Center and task force spokesperson, gave interviews to local reporters and revised his story, describing the memo as a "homework assignment" and told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth that vaccinations should not be among the deciding factors in whether an individual is provided a hospital bed.
Cassanova said the one-page summary memo served as a "heads up" alert in case the issues continues to get worse.
“We’re trying to decide how to explain this addition to the public,” Casanova said after Monday's (August 16) meeting, before doctors made the plans to inform the public.
On Wednesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed a total of 12,402 current hospitalizations throughout the state.
The hospitalization rate increase comes amid the nationwide spread of the delta variant, which the CDC has referred to as "highly contagious, likely to be more severe."
The delta variant now accounts for nearly 100% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, CDC data confirmed.