GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An employee at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids is going viral after taking a stand against getting the COVID-19 vaccine in videos shared on social media.
In the videos posted on TikTok, pediatric ophthalmic technician Montana McCarthy bashes the vaccine, pushing back against the hospital’s recent announcement mandating the vaccine for all employees once it receives full approval by the Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to happen by Labor Day.
“My employer has mandated the vaccine. I have two options; I can get the (vaccine), or I can just pretend that I’m going to get pregnant within the next year,” McCarthy said in the video.
Her comments began blowing up on social media after another TikTok user mashed up the clips in a new post blasting McCarthy. That second video has been viewed more than 160,000 times since it was posted Tuesday.
“My question is if you dedicate so much of your life in the service of helping kids, what is your motive to not mask or wear a mask?” TikTok user @smugnurse___ says in the video.
The TikTok user, who asked to be referred to only by her username, said she reported McCarthy’s videos to Spectrum Health Helen Devos Children’s Hospital.
Spectrum Health told News 8 it is aware of the situation and takes the matter very seriously, but was unable to either confirm or deny McCarthy’s employment status, saying it’s not their practice to discuss individual personnel matters.
“All Spectrum Health team members are expected to follow our code of excellence, values and expectations for team member behavior,” Spectrum Health said in a statement. “While team members are entitled to their own personal opinions, only posts published on Spectrum Health official accounts express the views and opinions of Spectrum Health.”
McCarthy has since wiped her social media presence, deleting her TikTok and LinkedIn profiles.
“Encouraging others to lie in order to avoid being vaccinated has really no ethical justification at all,” Leonard Fleck, a medical ethics professor with Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, said.
Fleck said the spreading of misinformation by medical professionals on social media has become a serious problem, especially amid the pandemic.
“It can cause patients to lose trust in the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals caring for them,” Fleck said.