Parson: Health officials playing COVID-19 blame game


Missouri Gov. Mike Parson answers media’s questions after he signed a bill to increase the state’s gas tax on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at the Buck O’Neil Bridge in Kansas City, Mo. It’s the first gas tax increase for Missourians in decades. (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says some officials at Springfield hospitals are trying to find someone to blame for a large increase in COVID-19 cases in the region.

Officials at Springfield’s two largest hospitals have been publicly warning the public that the delta variant is causing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The increase prompted Springfield officials to cancel a popular Route 66 festival scheduled for mid-August. And last week, Mercy health care officials said it would require employees at all its hospitals to be vaccinated by late September.

Parson said Tuesday that health officials should encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but should not try to scare them into doing so.

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