California Doctor Says Valid Vaccine Medical Exemptions Are Desperately Needed

By Lynn Hackman
Lynn Hackman
Lynn Hackman
Lynn is a reporter for the Southern California edition of The Epoch Times, based in Orange County. She has enjoyed a 25-year career as a senior-level strategic public relations and contingency planning executive. An editor, blogger, and columnist, Lynn also has experience as a television and radio show producer and host. For six years, she was co-host of Sunday Brunch with Tom and Lynn on KOCI 101.5 FM. She is also active in the Newport Beach community, serving as chair emeritus of the Newport Beach City Arts Commission, among various positions with other local organizations.
December 27, 2021 Updated: December 27, 2021

For months, Dr. Michael Huang, a private medical practitioner in Roseville, California, has been writing medical exemptions to help qualified front-line workers and others retain their jobs.

His patients come from all over the country to be fully examined in order to see if they qualify for a medical exemption from the vaccine.

“We’ve gotten calls from people in Idaho, Texas, Florida,” Huang told The Epoch Times. “People are flying from all over the country to see us, even from Canada.”

Huang said he and his assistant have worked with each patient, requesting they discuss their individual situation with their immediate supervisor or human resources department to confirm that a medical exemption would be accepted before coming to see him.

Even though many of these patients have legitimate reasons for an exemption, Dr. Huang says they have had trouble finding a doctor who will offer it to them.

“There are very few medical professionals that are willing to give medical exemptions because they are afraid,” Huang said. “If they work for a large health care provider or network, they are afraid they will lose their license if they grant too many medical exemptions.”

“I can give you hundreds of examples of patients, whether they are Kaiser, UC Davis, Mercy, or for example in Southern California, USC, UCLA, who have come to me and said, ‘My specialist or my physician said I should not get the COVID vaccine.’ But then they tell the patient they cannot help, that their hands are tied, or they are afraid to lose their license,” Huang said.

In addition to many nurses and other medical staff, Huang said his office has helped more than 400 firefighters keep their jobs, from Northern California to Fresno.

While Huang has received criticism for writing so many medical exemptions, he said that he believes vaccine exemptions are often being denied unfairly.

After a group of employees with Oakland-based health care company Kaiser Permanente recently received medical exemptions from him, he said Kaiser denied them, claiming the employees had missed the submission deadline.

“If someone has a legitimate medical reason to justify an exemption from the vaccine, there should be no deadline. How can you put a deadline on a medical condition?” Huang said.

Epoch Times Photo
Dr. Michael Huang, whose private practice is based in Roseville, Calif., in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Dr. Michael Huang)

Job Loss at Kaiser

In early December, Kaiser Permanente terminated 352 of its unvaccinated employees, and the company says 1,500 more face potential termination in early January.

According to spokesperson Terry Kanakri, as of Dec. 8, more than 200,000 employees have been vaccinated, and another 9,833 received a medical or religious exemption.

“All of our employees are important to our mission of delivering excellent care to our members, patients and communities. It was always our hope that no one would choose to leave our organization as a result of our vaccination policy. We appreciate the years of service they provided to our community and our organization,” Kanakri told The Epoch Times via email.

One Kaiser ICU charge nurse, who wished to remain anonymous and is using the pseudonym Jamie, was denied an exemption, placed on unpaid leave, and given 30 days to get vaccinated or be terminated after the first of the year.

Jamie also said that some traveling nurses being used to fill key positions at Kaiser were granted either medical or religious exemptions by the employment agencies for which they work.

“To my dismay, I just found out there are several travelers working right now in the hospital who were approved for exemptions by their agencies, so they are able to work anywhere they like,” the nurse told The Epoch Times. “They are actually working in my unit right now with an exemption that was approved, and I’m being removed by Kaiser and replaced by someone who has not been vaccinated. That’s the hard part for me.”

Jamie said if the health care provider is using traveling nurses, there must be a dire need for employees.

“Therefore they spare no expense to get nurses to come in,” the nurse said. “I know some travelers who make $10,000 to work five twelve-hour days at a time. But what is more disturbing than the cost of these nurses is that while Kaiser is [focused] on making sure their employees get vaccinated, it’s OK for unvaccinated travelers to come in, because ‘technically’ they are not employed by Kaiser.”

Jamie reached out to a traveling nurse agency and found out that the contract allowed their nurses with exemptions to work for Kaiser as a traveler wherever needed.

“So, I could go back to work for Kaiser as a traveler with an approved exemption with the agency, because that way Kaiser would not be my immediate employer,” Jamie said. “I was very dismayed; it was very disheartening.”

“The idea of starting my career all over, it’s certainly doable, and I’m more than capable,” the nurse said. “But it’s the principle of what’s causing (this situation) and forcing me in that direction, it’s criminal.”

The Epoch Times asked Kaiser about its use of traveling nurses, and the company did not confirm or deny if those nurses were required by their agencies to be vaccinated. Kaiser sent the following response:

Kaiser Permanente is pleased to announce that 98 percent of its workforce have answered the call to protect their communities, patients and co-workers by becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 or securing a qualified exemption to vaccination.

Kaiser Permanente was one of the first large companies in the U.S. to require its workforce to be vaccinated and has been a leader in urging and assisting members of the community to step up and get their shots. In addition to employees, the company also required that all contractors and vendors visiting its facilities be vaccinated and led efforts to get vaccine to the underserved population in the communities we serve. In addition to focused efforts to increase vaccine access into neighborhoods, Kaiser Permanente also stood up large mass-vaccination sites in underserved communities and promoted them heavily in ethnic media.

Epoch Times Photo
Vials and syringes of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are seen in Culver City, Calif., on Aug. 5, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

‘This is Very Important’

Having immigrated to the United States from Taiwan, Huang said he’s concerned about the negative impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine mandates on American society. He believes that helping qualified employees preserve their employment is part of upholding people’s freedoms.

“We’re doing everything we can to help hold our society together,” Huang said. “These large companies don’t care if the foundation of our health care and our society crumbles. I think it’s just a shame.”

Huang said the vaccine mandates are being used to frighten and intimidate people by threatening their livelihoods, and to him it looks very similar to repression in other parts of the world.

“Keep in mind, my background is why I am doing this. My family are from China. My grandparents fought the Japanese during World War II, and the Communist Chinese at the same time,” Huang explained.

“I know what socialism is. And what we’re facing now, it is socialism. I’ve seen firsthand the injuries that socialism can bring to a society, and how it can destroy the fabric and the integrity of the community.”

“We’re not going to stop fighting,” Huang said. “This is very important.”

Lynn Hackman
Lynn is a reporter for the Southern California edition of The Epoch Times, based in Orange County. She has enjoyed a 25-year career as a senior-level strategic public relations and contingency planning executive. An editor, blogger, and columnist, Lynn also has experience as a television and radio show producer and host. For six years, she was co-host of Sunday Brunch with Tom and Lynn on KOCI 101.5 FM. She is also active in the Newport Beach community, serving as chair emeritus of the Newport Beach City Arts Commission, among various positions with other local organizations.