Michigan State’s Tom Izzo urges COVID-19 vaccinations, better treatment of healthcare workers

EAST LANSING – Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is once again encouraging people to get vaccinated and to show more compassion for healthcare workers amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Following recent conversations with local doctors and nurses regarding hospital capacity issues and poor treatment of hospital staff, Izzo said he was compelled to speak out on the issues following Michigan State’s Saturday win over Penn State

“I’m ticked off at our country a little bit,” Izzo said. “Whether you choose to get vaccinated or not is your choice. I’m going to beg people to get vaccinated because it’s what I believe, but it’s not just me, it’s the scientific knowledge, the doctors, the nurses, it’s everybody.”

Izzo was most forceful on the topic of healthcare workers and how they’re treated.

“For the people out there condemning our doctors and our nurses, the first responders, it makes me sick. It really bothers me,” Izzo said.

“You have your own decision on what you want to do. That’s your business. But I’ll tell you one thing, if anyone’s that ignorant that they’re condemning our doctors, nurses, first responders, all the people that are giving their fricking life, and now we can’t even get operations, we can’t get things because these hospitals are overwhelmed again, shame on you.”

As of Thursday, 10 Michigan hospitals were at 100 percent capacity and hospitals overall in the state were at 86 percent capacity. The state set a record this week for COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Locally, Sparrow Hospital had 42 patients awaiting a bed in the emergency department earlier this week, a spokesperson told MLive.

Izzo has been vocal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in urging people to follow public health guidance regarding masking and social distancing. He has also on multiple occasions urged the public to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Izzo and his entire team and staff have been vaccinated.