On Wednesday, a coalition of 10 states sued federal officials to stop a Covid-19 vaccination requirement for healthcare workers. This is a new front in Republican-led resistance to President Joe Biden’s pandemic policies.
A Missouri federal court filed a lawsuit claiming that the vaccine requirement could threaten the jobs of millions upon millions of healthcare workers. It also could "exacerbate an alarming lack" of healthcare professionals, especially in rural areas where many health workers are hesitant to get the shots.
This suit is similar to one filed by Republican-led States against new Biden Administration rules. These will require federal contractors ensure that their workers are vaccinated. Businesses with more than 100 employees must also require that their workers get vaccinated.
All mandates will take effect on January 4.
Biden's administration claims that federal rules override state policies banning vaccine mandates. They are crucial to slowing down the pandemic which has already killed more than 755,000 Americans. The New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has already temporarily blocked the business vaccination rule because it raised "grave statutory, and constitutional questions".
The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a separate rule last week that requires Covid-19 vaccinations for over 17 million workers in approximately 76,000 healthcare facilities and home-care providers who receive funding from the government's health programs.
New lawsuit claims that CMS vaccine requirements are unprecedented and unreasonable. They affect even staff and volunteers who don't normally work with patients.
"The mandate is an egregious attempt to federalize public healthcare issues involving vaccinations that belong within the States' Police Power," stated Eric Schmitt (a Republican running for the US Senate).
The lawsuit was joined by the attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas and Iowa as well as Nebraska, Kansas, Nebraska. New Hampshire, North Dakota. South Dakota. Wyoming. Except for Tom Miller, the Democratic Attorney General of Iowa, who is headed by Kim Reynolds, a Republican governor in Iowa (which is led by Tom Miller), all are Republicans.
A spokesperson for CMS declined to comment on the lawsuit.
This lawsuit raises concerns about rural hospital administrators in Missouri, and Nebraska. It claims that Great Plains Health, North Platte, Nebraska can only staff 70 of its 116 beds due to workforce shortages. The lawsuit also states that a majority in the behavioral health unit have been notified that they will resign instead of being vaccinated.
Recent increases in workplace vaccine mandates have led to significant compliance.
New York City had more than 90% of its employees have received the vaccine prior to the 1 November mandate.
Tyson Foods informed its 120,000 US employees that they had to be vaccinated before 1 November in the private sector. The company reported that more than 96% had been vaccinated as of last week. This includes 60,500 who received their shots following the August announcement.