Maskless hospital workers proclaim they can safely work because they know how to use PPE in interview with masked CNN reporter

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

Two medical professionals sat for an interview with CNN, adamantly voicing opposition to New York’s COVID-19 vaccinate mandates, calling them an insult to them as professionals who are trained to use PPE — all while sitting maskless across from a masked journalist.

Stephanie Touchet, a medical assistant, and Donna Schmidt, a registered nurse, both sat down with CNN’s Miguel Marquez to discuss their status and future as the deadline for New York state health care workers to get vaccinated approaches.

One of their main arguments for being able to continue to work in the medical field, including around newborns in intensive care in the case of Schmidt, is that they are trained professionals who know how to use PPE.

However, they notably conducted the entire interview without wearing masks, seated less than three feet from each other.

Miguel Marquez, who conducted the interview, wore a mask on camera.

Of course, an interview with a television journalist in what appeared to be a fairly open room is far cry from the standards in a hospital ward or intensive card unit, but it ultimately seemed a bit odd for the pair to sit there declaring their knowledge of PPE without actually using any — even “consumer grade” products.

In fairness, numerous TV interviews have been conducted without masks — both on the side of interviewees and interviewers, but, again, seeing Touchet and Schmidt sitting there declaring the importance of PPE and the precautions they take as medical professionals with their mouths and noses fully visible painted an interesting picture.

There is scientific evidence that masking may be less effective in preventing someone from catching COVID-19, but plays a key role in making it harder to spread to others if one is infected, though much of this guidance applies to non medical grade masks.

Both women, who both had COVID-19 in the past, said they have requested religious exemptions from the requirement — despite the fact no major U.S. religion opposes vaccines and the Catholic church, to which at least one of them proclaimed membership in, has give the green light to the vaccines.

Touchet called Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic church, a “hypocrite” and then disputed his “election,” seemingly implying it was somehow politically motivated. Both Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, who is widely regarded as much more conservative, were publicly vaccinated against coronavirus.

Some Catholics have also questioned the use of some vaccines because of their origins in aborted fetal tissue. However, those cell lines, as they are called, were from the 1970s and 1980s and has been duplicated to the point of being “thousands of generations removed” from the original source cells.

The Catholic church also addressed this concern earlier in the pandemic, with Francis saying Catholics should consider alternatives if available, but the the use of fetal cell lines should not be considered a reason to not get vaccinated even if no other options are available.

Still, both women expressed their desire to stay true to what they believe in — and said flat out they would refuse the coronavirus vaccine, even if it came down to losing their job.

Coronavirus vaccines and boosters are highly recommended by multiple public health officials and experts. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters have undergone extensive testing and monitoring to ensure their safety. Scientific research has shown the vaccines and boosters to be very safe and highly effective in decreasing the likelihood of contracting the illness and, if one does become sick, symptoms are less severe and less likely to lead to hospitalization or death. For more information about COVID-19 and coronavirus, visit the CDC website. You can locate a free vaccination site or clinic near you at As with any medical decision, you should always discuss your options with your doctor.