Dear Gov. Murphy,

A recent hospital experience with a family member made me acutely aware of the dire nurse shortage that exists in NJ hospitals.

And I’m sure you agree this is a travesty since nurses are some of the most valuable members of the medical community.

There are many reasons for this shortage, but one that we cannot ignore is the glut of nurses who retired when you required them to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Now that all the hoopla has died down, it seems even crazier that these men and women who were entrusted with the care of so many New Jerseyans couldn’t make their own decisions about how to care for their own health.

But now that the pharmaceutical companies are no longer pushing the vaccine, it’s very easy for you to lift the requirement.

Governor Phil Murphy delivers the FY2024 Budget Address in Trenton on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 (Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor's Office).
Governor Phil Murphy delivers the FY2024 Budget Address in Trenton on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 (Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor's Office).

You may fancy yourself a hero for doing so. But unfortunately, it’s too little, too late.

Some great nurses, several of whom I know personally, made the decision to step away from the nursing profession — not just because they felt uncomfortable about the vaccine itself, but also because their principles would not allow them to be forced into doing anything under the threat of losing their livelihood.

Well, governor, see if you can go get all those nurses back, quickly. See if you can ask them to return to the jobs that they loved and that fed their families for years.

Ask them if they will forgive and forget and return, now that you’re no longer requiring them to be injected. I don’t know if you’ll be able to convince them.

As is the case in New York City with the police and fire departments, as well as in the airline pilot industry, these people are pissed. I don’t think you will have too much luck.

These people stuck to their principles and made the decision to leave. And the damage to the healthcare profession caused by these nurses’ (and other healthcare workers’) absence won't be repaired because YOU finally decided that the threat is over.

And I hope you know that the responsibility for anyone whose health has been compromised because of your vaccine mandates sits squarely on your shoulders. Their blood is on your hands.

Judi Franco

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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