DES MOINES, Iowa — Staff for U.S. Representative Cindy Axne, 3rd District Democrat from West Des Moines, clarified earlier comments where Axne claimed that Des Moines hospitals had run out of beds for some emergency cases.
“We have hospitals right here in Des Moines and they have no more beds left,” Axne said in an interview on “The Insiders” that aired Sunday morning, “…you have a heart attack, guess what? You’re out of luck. Your child gets in a car accident…unfortunately, they’re out of luck.”
Axne blamed Iowans not getting vaccinated for the COVID-19 for filling up hospital beds. “…what’s happening right now is those unvaccinated people are taking up beds that Iowans desperately need. So I really just urge everybody to get vaccinated,” Axne said.
In recent weeks, hospital officials have confirmed that nearly all patients hospitalized with the virus (95 percent or more) had not been vaccinated. The Iowa Department of Public Health, which updates virus information publicly once per week, reported on August 16 that 396 people were hospitalized in the state with the virus.
Peak hospitalizations last November totaled nearly four times that many people. But current hospitalizations are nearly twice as high as they were two weeks ago, according to the IDPH publicly reported data.
WHO 13 News has been unable to find any hospital in Iowa that can no longer accept patients in emergency situations, like heart attacks or children in car crashes as Axne mentioned.
A spokesman from Axne’s office offered this clarification:
“Recently, the Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines confirmed it was suspending elective surgeries because of capacity issues, and a spokesperson for Iowa’s MercyOne hospitals said that some of their facilities were ‘short on space.’ Rep. Axne reminded Iowans that the critical care hospitals provide isn’t limited to treating COVID-19 – ICU capacity is necessary for medical emergencies or accidents, and the doctors and nurses treating all those ailments can be strained if a hospital is overwhelmed. That’s why she encouraged all Iowans to get a COVID-19 vaccination if they haven’t already. The data shows that a vaccination is the best tool Iowans have to keep themselves and their families out of the ICU’s COVID-19 ward, and ensure there’s hospital capacity to treat patients who need the other kinds of care our doctors and nurses provide.”