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An Iowa mom was told by staff at the pediatric gastroenterology unit at the University of Iowa she had to decide what was more important — her possibly passing out from wearing a mask or her child having his appointment on Tuesday.

The mother told the receptionist when she had called to confirm the appointment she mentioned she could not wear a mask due to a medical condition. She was told it would be OK. The mother entered the hospital without a mask by explaining the same thing to the person handing out name tags.


The following was captured on video and shows the receptionist, Laura, making a call to the doctor’s office to see if the doctor would be willing to see the patient if the mother does not wear a mask.

The mother said she has a medical exemption that prevents her from wearing a mask. 

The receptionist told the medical assistant in the doctor’s office that the mom said she talked to somebody about the exemption but doesn’t see any notation on the computer. She also said the mother did not have any documentation regarding her medical exemption. 

But, the receptionist adds, they came up through the children’s hospital.

“So, you know, somebody let them in,” Laura said. “We’ve got a clinic full of kids who are under the age of 12 who can’t even get vaccinated.”

The mother is told she has to wear a mask or her child will not be seen by the doctor. 

“So if I pass out from wearing a mask, you guys are responsible,” the mother asks. 

“I’m not sure about that,” the receptionist states. “But do we want to call security or management?”

At one point, the receptionist clearly states, “I guess it depends on what’s more important — you passing out or the child having this appointment today.”

When the mother puts on a mask so her child can have the appointment, which they drove an hour for, the receptionist says she will have to make sure the doctor is still willing to see them. 

“Now I’m going to call because now we’re running late,” she said. 

Laura seemed a bit annoyed that the mother didn’t just put her mask on initially. 

“This is not the best for my health,” the mother said. “I’m not supposed to wear one.”

The receptionist then calls security because of “threats” the mother has made. The receptionist said when the mother asked if the hospital would be liable if she passed out from wearing a mask constituted a threat. However, the receptionist also notes the mother never yelled. 

The security officer who arrived at the clinic said he does not know of any medical exceptions to wearing a mask. 

“But she has her mask on now,” he noted. 

The officer continued that people are just following the rules and they are not meaning to keep anybody out.

“It’s for the patients’ safety,” he said. 

The officer then told the mother recording is illegal and she needed to stop her recording.

Author: Jacob Hall


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