A zoom fitrada video conference reveals a doctor wondering how to increase the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital’s scorecard report.
Media outlet National File says it obtained the recording from an “inside source” at Novant Health System, which includes New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina.
National File posted the video on its Twitter feed on 10 September.
National File and other local media outlets reporting the leak identified the people in the video as Mary Kathryn Rudyk, a physician at the medical centre, who asks Carolyn Fisher, the hospital’s marketing director, how to inflate the number of people classified as COVID-19 patients to generate fear among the unvaccinated.
“I think we have to be more brutal, we have to be more blunt, we have to say something when we go out: if you don’t get vaccinated, you know you’re going to die,” Rudyk said in the video.
“We’re going to be really brutal with these people.”
The video begins with Ms Fisher explaining how her department reports “meaningful numbers” to the public: the percentage of unvaccinated people, the percentage of vaccinated people and the percentage of deaths in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Rudyk then asked how post-COVID-19 cases can be included in the number of people hospitalised for COVID-19.
“My feeling at this point is that maybe we need to be completely a little more frightening to the public,” Rudyk said.
“There are a lot of people who are still hospitalised who we consider post-COVID, but we don’t count them in these numbers, so how do we include these post-COVID people in the number of patients we have in the hospital?”
Fisher asked if she meant all patients who have been in the hospital “since the beginning of COVID”.
Ms Rudyk replied, “Well, those who are still in the hospital, and this is a question I can put to someone else, but I think these are important numbers: patients who are still in the hospital, who are no longer on the COVID ward floor, but who are still occupying the hospital for various reasons.”
Also on the Zoom conference call, Shelbourn Stevens, president of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, said these patients are classified as “recovered.”
“But I think, from our perspective, we would still consider them COVID patients because they are still recovering,” Stevens said.
Ms Rudyk said she thought these patients should be “flagged as well, because once they come out of isolation they are no longer in the COVID numbers”, prompting Stevens to say they could later discuss offline “how we can take this to marketing”.
Novant Health response
In response to questions about whether the people in the video were employees of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and what the context of the video was, a Novant Health spokesperson told The Epoch Times that the staff involved in the video clip are seeing the “highest levels of hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19 to date in this pandemic, despite safe and effective vaccines being widely available”.
“This was a frank discussion among medical and communications professionals about how we can more accurately convey the gravity and severity of what is happening within our hospitals and throughout our communities,” the spokesperson said. “In particular, the data we have shared does not include patients who remain hospitalised with COVID-19-related complications, even if they are no longer in isolation, and therefore does not provide a complete picture of the full impact of COVID-19 on our patients and hospitals.”
The hospital remains concerned about misinformation, the spokesperson said, and is working “to be transparent and tell the whole story.”
By Matt McGregor