Unethical Quote Of The Week: Dr. Mary Rudyk [Corrected]

“I think we have to be more blunt, we have to be more forceful, we have to say something coming out, you know you don’t get vaccinated, you know you’re going to die. I mean, let’s just be really blunt to these people.”

—-Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center Dr. Mary Rudyk, formerly the North Carolina’s Chief of Medical Staff, in a leaked Zoom discussion with a colleague about how to persuade vaccine resisters to get their shots. [ Notice of Correction: the original post included a shot from the Zoom recording that was not Rudyk, but the colleague she was talking with. Commenter Zanshin flagged the mistake. That is Rudyk above.]

In other words, lie and engage in fear-mongering! Oh, good plan. That’s surely the way to build back the trust the health care community has squandered during the pandemic.


Rudyk says in the now viral two-minute video that  the hospital’s messaging needs to be “a little bit more scary for the public,” so she proposes including patients she characterizes as “post-COVID” in the hospital’s case count. Actually, as the hospital tried to explain later as it desperately attempts to address public outrage over the comments, that policy would be defensible, as patients hospitalized for conditions brought on by the virus are still in danger as a direct result of being infected. However, the ethical motive for making this choice is to be more informative, not to be “more scary.’

In a statement, Novant Health told WECT News that they were not releasing data for patients “who remain hospitalized for COVID-19 complications even though they are no longer COVID-19 positive, so it does not provide a complete picture of the total impact of COVID-19 on our patients and on our hospitals.” The spokesperson for the hospital also said that they were “concerned with the amount of misinformation in our communities.”

If they are so concerned, they should stop deliberately contributing to that misinformation with demonstrably false statements like “you don’t get vaccinated, you know you’re going to die.” The survival rate for the Wuhan virus and all of its variants is still better than 98% regardless of the age of the individual infected. If one is young, healthy, and not obese, the odds are much better than that. Vaccinated or not, you know you are almost certainly NOT going to die.

Of course, health officials like Rudyk are counting on the mainstream news media to make sure that as few members of the public learn about damning episodes like this “for the greater good.” I’ll be watching to see if this story is reported at all outside of Fox News and the usual suspects. You know it largely will not be. And this, of course, only feeds public distrust, but of journalists. Much of the public believes that they are also engaging in selective reporting and fear-mongering regarding the pandemic, because they are.

Oh yeah. Good plan.

22 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Dr. Mary Rudyk [Corrected]

  1. Every time I see one of these experts explaining how they plan to get everyone vaccinated I shake my head.

    When in the history of forever did you convince anyone to do anything by getting more and more threatening. Sure, you can force a person to do something, but you won’t convince anyone to change their minds by screaming “YOU BETTER OR ELSE!”

    • It seems Doutzen Kroes is an ethics hero.

      “The past few months have been very peaceful without social media. A part of me wanted to escape into my family bubble and leave everything up to faith. That part of me believes in the power of consciousness, that whatever you give energy to will grow. So I tried to ignore the negative and focus on the positive. But at this point I can no longer turn a blind eye to the injustice that is happening right in front of us.”

      She continues, “Other people have given me hope and strength with their courage to stand up for our rights. They touched my heart and inspired me to do the same. So although my hands are shaking while writing this, I feel it is time to choose courage over comfort and speak my truth: I will not be forced to take the shot. I will not be forced to prove my health to participate in society. I will not accept exclusion of people based on their medical status.”

    • It’s not about changing anyone’s mind, it’s about changing their behavior. Many years ago when I had just finished law school and was studying for the bar, still living at home, my mother wanted me to take my aged (86) grandfather to a reunion at his college in MA. I really couldn’t afford to give up four days of study to chauffeur a man who was slipping mentally four hours each way and babysit him while he did nothing but drink himself under the table and repeat embarrassing stories and dirty jokes (his favorite was the one about the misunderstanding in French between a hat and a condom) that my grandmother would always stop him from telling while she was alive.

      Any other time, ok, but while studying for the bar was too big of an ask, and I said sorry, but no, maybe she could ask another family member (there were others). However, Mom was the kind of person who, once she got it into her head that she wanted YOU to do something that she thought was important enough, dammit, she was going to make YOU do it, come high water, hurricane, or the end of the world. So she stepped back for the moment, only to renew the request, except it was now more like a demand, two days later in the middle of dinner. Once again I held my ground. Twice more she demanded I do this, each time when I wasn’t expecting her to ask again. Finally she told me “This is not a request, this is a requirement. Either you do this, or you have two days to pack your bags and move out. I don’t care if you have nowhere to go, I don’t care if you have almost no money, I don’t care if you fail the bar a hundred times over, I don’t care if you have to live in your car or in the gutter, but THAT IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU DON’T DO THIS!” It was a financial and social gun to the head.
      So I resigned myself to doing it.

      We might as well not have bothered with that fight, because a week later my grandfather suffered a heart attack which almost killed him, and then a stroke while undergoing bypass surgery that paralyzed one side of his body (I don’t remember which, it was so long ago now). He wasn’t going anywhere, least of all to a reunion. He lay in bed, first in rehab (which did not a damn thing for him) then at home after his coverage ran out, until his body shut down completely around Halloween of that year. However, I never forgot that discussion. A couple of years later, when I struck out on my own, I reminded Mom of that fight, and told her in no uncertain terms, “I’m an adult and a lawyer now. I’m not your servant, and I’m not a twelve-year-old who has to come running every time you yell across the house like a fishwife. I do you favors at my sufferance, and if you EVER talk to me like you talked to me that time again, it will be the last time you talk to me in this world or the next!” Mom backed off me, and cut the demands back to a bare minimum until she was dying herself and starting to slip mentally due to the pain-killers and the pain they could only reduce, not quell.

      My point is, if someone who has more power than you decides they want you to do something, and they want it badly enough not to let you say no, eventually they stop demanding, scaring, and threatening.
      Eventually they take the gloves off and just force it from you, putting a metaphorical or literal gun to your head if that’s what it takes. We’re not there yet, but that time is coming in this country.

        • Thanks, and yup, disturbing is right. Let’s just say Mom’s side of the family did not have a good beginning, and if something starts badly, it’s unlikely to ever get fully on track.

        • If they take off the gloves, so do we.

          I remembner THIS COMMENT.


          I don’t know about a civil war, but as I said, we may be headed for our own version of the Troubles. No matter what you may think about which side was right or wrong, for at least a period of time the IRA was the only active paramilitary force on either side. Eventually, the Protestants in northern Ireland got tired of being abused and targeted while trying to rely purely on the legitimate authorities for protection, and they started to form their own paramilitaries like the Ulster Defense League and the Ulster Volunteer Force. That leveled the playing field a little, and cost the IRA some support among the ordinary people who knew damn well that now if the IRA decided to randomly shoot Alan or Ian as he left the pub, within 24 hours the black car with the tinted windows would come prowling around to grab Sean or Patrick and take him on the kind of ride that ends up face down by the side of the road with a bullet in his head.

          The time has come to make the targeted areas for the liberals separate from them and unhealthy for them. That college professor can’t write yet more inflammatory articles against the white race if his car is stopped in the countryside and he is beaten to death. That organizer of the group that supposedly doesn’t exist can’t organize boo if he is shot dead while getting gas. That guy who gets up there in the dashiki and kufi to whip up yet another riot can’t whip up anything if while he’s at the African market somebody comes up to him to remark on how they admire him, and plunges a knife into his gut.

          For 4 years we had to hear about the resistance, now let’s see how the resistance feels when they’re the ones getting resisted against, by any and all tactics necessary.

          Keep calm and Carry on? No dice, it’s time to raise hell.

          These new vaccine mandates are just a latest tool in this campaign to compel obedience. This is a campaign where people were arrested of kayaking alone in the ocean, where skate parks were filled in his sand, and where dogs were killed to prevent people (not the dogs themselves) from spreading COVID-19.

          My longtime Usenet ally, Christopher Charles Morton, once [mis]quoted a film line about how there is nothing more dangerous that a man who doesn’t give a fuck. Excluding a wide swath of society from ordinary life would cause lots of people to not give a fuck.

          • Yup, ideologues are dangerous enough, but people who have nothing to lose are the most dangerous of all. Did you know that in the Middle Ages there were 33 orders of religious knights spread throughout Europe and the Crusader States (before the fall of Acre)? Neither did I until recently, and I wish I could have a whole discussion on them, but there isn’t time. Most dressed in some combination of red, white, and black. Do you know which one of all these 33 orders the infidel feared the most? Well, it wasn’t any of the Big Three, the Templars, Hospitallers, and Teutonic Knights, though all of those were greatly hated and feared by Muslim and pagan alike. It wasn’t any of the Spanish orders either, although they were merciless to the Moors. The one sign that the pagan feared most of all to see on the battlefield was the plain green cross on white of the Order of St. Lazarus, or the Lazarenes. They feared them most because these were knights stricken with the plague of leprosy, but whose illness hadn’t adversely affected their ability to fight… yet (as their illness worsened the order would take care of them). They feared them most of all because these were men who felt little pain, knew their time was limited, and didn’t care if they died on the battlefield, for it was preferable to dying in a hospital bed with body parts falling off. Fear most the man with nothing to lose indeed.

  2. I woke up to a Headline that read “Hospital beds filling up with COVID delta variant in Hagerstown area.

    Hospital capacity is averaging over 75 percent in the Hagerstown area, with 804 patients hospitalized statewide due to COVID.”

    Notice that the comparison data points are apples and oranges. First they list a percentage of local utilization without claiming these are all Covid cases – which they are not and then they cite a statewide hospitalization case count of 804. Well put that latter into context it represent .000134% of the total Maryland population or 13.4 patients per 100,000. This is not an epidemic of cases.

    Hospitals are businesses that must run efficiently and businesses run most efficiently at 80% utilization. To much capacity results in higher than needed overhead and too little capacity precludes an ability to serve during periodic high demand.

    I am vaccinated but I don’t think those who have recovered from Covid necessarily need to be vaccinated as their immune response is toward Covid is far greater than in those who were just vaccinated. I have little faith in our medical community who systematically use fear to get patient compliance. It is also hard to have faith in experts who claim that the reason seasonal flu infections and deaths were so low last year was due to lockdowns and mask requirements. But why then did Covid have no difficulty infecting and killing millions of people? If lockdowns and masking was so effective against the flu why was it not that effective in containing the Covid variant of the seasonal flu which is also a Corona virus? My money is on the that the seasonal flu accounted for some of those Covid numbers. Could it be simply that seasonal flu does not have sufficient scare power to get people to give up their liberties.

    I further believe that the “booster shot” plan is merely a political ploy to give Biden a talking point to say he is on top of the “pandemic” unlike his predecessor who is claimed to have done nothing (other than clearing out the roadblocks to get the vaccine developed and into people in record time) . The FDA just voted 16 to 2 against authorizing booster shots as did the WHO. Two FDA immunologists resigned because of the pressure by the White House to authorize the booster.

    I will trust Pfizer and Moderna regarding the need for boosters when they offer it for sale at a price just necessary to cover production costs.

  3. Another one I’ve heard is they need to force people into making choices that are not really choices. If the choice is get vaccinated…soon… or lose your job, people are going to get vaccinated. If the choice is get vaccinated or be locked out of your child’s school and all school functions, you’re more likely than not going to get vaccinated. If the choice is get vaccinated or be unable to see a movie, get a haircut, go to a restaurant, or go grocery shopping, people are going to get vaccinated. If the choice is get vaccinated or be cooped up in your house until you do, people are going to get vaccinated. Interestingly, these are often the same people that fought tooth and nail against AIDS testing, airport screening, and any kind of racial profiling. But hey, screw freedom, right?

  4. There is a financial motive here: it is not just scare-mongering for a presumably altruistic one. The health care profession is money-driven, and the more we know about it the less we trust it. This only confirms this distrust and adds to the data we have about the industry. (And it is an industry, as money-conscious as any Fortune 500 company.)

    My question is: what can we do about it? Calling out thieves, e.g., provides some measure of satisfaction, though the inability to prosecute those thieves tends to cancel out any satisfaction and increase our feelings of helplessness. Which of course is what ‘they’ want…

  5. The survival rate for the Wuhan virus and all of its variants is still better than 98% regardless of the age of the individual infected. If one is young, healthy, and not obese, the odds are much better than that. Vaccinated or not, you know you are almost certainly NOT going to die.

    Even before the vaccine became available, I knew that almost all old people would need it, while most young people would not need it.

    When the vaccination campaign turned from making the vaccine available to the old to convincing the young to want the vaccine, it raised ethics alarms.

    This whole thing is not about public health, but about compelling obedience.

    Requiring vaccines to go to a bar or a restaurant is cut from the same corrupt cloth as killing healthy rescue dogs so that no one could travel too far to limit the spread of COVID-19.

    If the trolley problem was between one thousand lockdown/vaccine-mandate supporters and a sickly dog expected to die in a few days, I know what I would choose.

  6. I’m wondering when Novant Health and/or Dr. Rudyk will be suspended from Twitter for spreading COVID misinformation. I’ll wait, I’m sure it’s gonna happen any minute now.

  7. The survival rate for the Wuhan virus and all of its variants is still better than 98% regardless of the age of the individual infected. If one is young, healthy, and not obese, the odds are much better than that. Vaccinated or not, you know you are almost certainly NOT going to die.

    On a related note…

    Data show that those who are 18-34 years old are least likely to be vaccinated and are being infected at higher rates than other age groups. Indoor bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries are considered some of the most high-risk settings and have the highest instances of interaction without masks. Further, they already require patrons to show identification and have established practices to ensure compliance; these also are establishments often frequented by those in their 20s and 30s who are the least likely to be vaccinated.

    Again, I must remind people that people between the ages of 18-34 are least likely to need the vaccine.

    This reinforces the case that COVID-19 restrictions have nothing to do with public health.

  8. I suppose that this Rudyk is recommending propaganda that is at least technically correct in saying that people who don’t get vaccinated are going to die, what with mors communis omnibus and that. But that’s why people should be concerned whether statements are true and fair, rather than merely and unhelpfully true. Do people die sooner and/or harder if they aren’t vaccinated? Do they never, ever die if they are?

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