Hochul: Mandate of Vax for “self-defense” of health workers | New York State
Governor Kathy Hochul has redoubled her efforts to defend the state’s immunization mandate for health workers which comes into effect at midnight Tuesday, expressing confidence that the legal mandates will hold in the courts following several challenges to health workers. unions of workers and employees concerned.
The state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers in hospitals and nursing homes begins at midnight. Workers must have at least their first dose of vaccine on Monday or risk losing their jobs on Tuesday. Hospitals statewide have started restricting elective surgeries and procedures with expected staff shortages when the controversial mandate takes effect.
âI am very confident about our changes on the court since 1905,â Hochul said Monday at the Bay Eden Senior Center in the Bronx.
During the 1902 smallpox epidemic in Cambridge, Massachusetts, city health officials ordered all citizens to get vaccinated to stop the spread of the disease. Health officials at the time acted under a Massachusetts state law empowering them to mandate vaccinations if deemed necessary for public health or safety.
The 1905 complainant in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, Henning Jacobson, refused to be vaccinated, insisting he had the 14th Amendment right “to take care of his own body and his health in the way he sees fit.” He was fined $ 5 by the state of Massachusetts for the disorder.
At least one dose of COVID vaccine, medical exemption, postponement, or religious exemption must be in place for New York health care workers to work after September 27.
“We have the right to defend our people against a global pandemic and we have the right to take all necessary means to do so,” said the governor. âIt’s all about self-defense. I am here to defend the people of New York.
The state of California is expected to implement a similar mandate in the coming weeks.
Hochul, while wearing a “vaxxed” necklace, also expressed confidence on Monday that court challenges to the vaccine mandate based on religious exemptions would not hold up. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge David Hurd for the state’s Northern District extended a temporary restraining order for warrant-affected health workers who refused the vaccine on the basis of a religious exemption.
The restrictive order is in effect for workers who request a religious exemption until October 12.
The court challenge based on the religious exemption will not stand in court, said Hochul, who worked as a legislative counsel early in her career.
“There is no legitimate [reason] for religious exemptions because the leaders of all organized religions said there was no legitimate reason, âHochul said. “We’re going to win this in court in a few days.”
Lawyers for the Thomas More Society responded to Hochul’s claims in a statement on Monday. The company has applied for the preliminary injunction. Hurd is expected to render a decision by October 12.
“New York Gov. Hochul is using every forceful tactic she can to try to coerce employees into being vaccinated against their will,” Christopher Ferra, Thomas More Society special adviser, said Tuesday. âShe also demonstrates at least a lack of respect, if not outright hostility towards the deeply held religious beliefs of our clients and thousands of others. We have strong grounds to succeed in our preliminary injunction motion. The governor’s intimidation aims to compel as many as possible to be vaccinated before the court rules. And now she threatens to declare a state of emergency on the basis of the emergency she herself created by calling for the dismissal of the dedicated frontline health workers who were the heroes of yesterday but who are suddenly outcasts because they won’t bow to the governor’s arbitrary will. The same doctors and nurses who have treated patients for 18 months without being vaccinated – often contracting COVID, recovering and returning to frontline medical care – are now being portrayed as nasty carriers of disease. It is not scientific. It is demagoguery. “
Tens of thousands of workers across the state remain unvaccinated. As of September 22, 84% of all employees in state hospitals were fully immunized. As of September 23, 81% of staff in adult care facilities and 77% of staff in nursing homes were fully immunized, according to the governor’s office.
Hochul will sign an executive order by the end of Monday giving him the power to use the National Guard, recruit retirees and bring in additional health workers from out of state or other countries.
Hochul will explore reassigning workers from facilities with high vaccination rates to places that need help, she said.
Facilities in the lower state are better off than many health facilities in the upstate, Hochul said.
The governor did not have the exact number of statewide health workers expected to lose their jobs under the mandate as several health workers continued to be vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday – their last day to get at least one dose of vaccine to remain employed in a New York facility.
Columbia Memorial Health CEO Jay P. Cahalan sent a note to all staff regarding the impending tenure on Monday morning, encouraging everyone to get their COVID-19 shots.
“I know none of us want to lose a single staff member, but unfortunately some staff members are likely not to be eligible to work under the New York State rule that goes into effect,” said Cahala. “If you haven’t already given some thought to this, and we really hope you have, please do so immediately and let it be known how you will choose to move forward.”
Hospital administrators warned of longer-than-usual wait times for emergency room patients last week, citing staff shortages.
âLast week we had a constant flow of people from CMH who came down and got the shot which is a plus, but I think like any other public health director I’m holding my breath a bit. what could happen to CMH if these people keep on refusing and leave, âColumbia County Director of Public Health Jack Mabb said on Monday. “The hospital is suffering enough for the staff without a small number of people leaving.”
Many hospitals in the Capital Region, western New York, northern and surrounding areas are reporting higher patient volumes and a record number of flu-like or flu-like symptoms. COVID.
âTo varying degrees, the health care situation we find ourselves in is also a national phenomenon,â said Cahala. âI know some people in the community saw the problem as understaffing – it’s oversimplifying. While we all agree that shortages have affected the entire healthcare industry, the challenge of matching staff to patient volume is affected by many other factors, some of which are new. “
State Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy called Hochul a “tyrant” for imposing the mandate on frontline health workers already stressed by the pandemic.
“In a very short period of time, Governor Hochul is demonstrating that she is just as intimidating as Andrew Cuomo has ever been,” Langworthy told reporters in New York on Monday. “New York health workers, both private and public, will be given a vax mandate that will force them to choose between the career they have dedicated their lives to and losing their jobs if they don’t get the vaccine.” . “
State and federal officials protesting against vaccine mandates cite the constitutional need for personal choice and medical freedom.
Langworthy is vaccinated, he said, and believes in the COVID vaccine, but people with religious or medical concerns should not be legally fired.
âGetting stuck by the needle or getting fired is what Kathy Hochul has to say,â he said. âHospital workers, who are missing at the start, are laid off if they refuse the mandate. It’s wrong, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s not American, and people need to remember that when Kathy Hochul comes forward and asks for your vote next year.
The warrant is not necessary, Hochul said, if each person is doing the right thing and getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Revolutionary coronavirus infections are on the rise with the strengthening of variants of the deadly disease, which has killed at least 54,769 New Yorkers to date.
“My desire is that the people who have been there continue to work in their jobs safely,” said the governor. âTo all the other healthcare workers who are vaccinated, they also deserve to know that the people they work with will not make them sick.
“… Your coworkers want you to do this – don’t increase the burden on them either.” “