New York Vaccine Mandate Ejects Badly Needed Workers From Hospitals

New York Vaccine Mandate Ejects Badly Needed Workers From Hospitals

For more than a year, front-line health workers were praised for risking their lives to aid COVID-19 patients. Now, unless they comply with New York’s lawless vaccine mandate, they will be terminated, leaving health institutions struggling to attract workers even more short-handed.

Starting at midnight on Monday, New York hospitals began firing or suspending workers who have not chosen to accept a COVID-19 injection, which caused some hospitals to postpone surgeries or curtail services, Reuters reported. As a consequence, New York has had to deploy National Guard units to fill in. They are also allowing people with lapsed medical licenses to fill open health-care positions under a new executive order.

“We’ll be nation leading with our mandate ,which strikes at midnight tonight, when everyone is expected in a hospital in the state of New York or in a health care facility to have been vaccinated,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday. “I will be signing an executive order to give me the emergency powers necessary to address the shortages where they occur and that’s going to allow me to deploy the National Guard, who are medically trained, to deploy people who may have been retired, who may have had a license lapse, or bring in people from elsewhere.”

Despite claims from the Biden administration that few people would be fired due to vaccine mandates, members of the National Guard, retired health workers, recent graduates, and out-of-state licensed health workers will replace front-line nurses and doctors who have chosen to remain unvaccinated despite working for 18 months in the nation’s top COVID-affected locale. Hochul said on September 15 that she anticipates deploying 50,000 EMTs to avoid the expected worker shortage when more vaccines are rolled out this fall.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that New York would be “taking steps to work with healthcare systems to ensure that they have alternatives that they can backfill as needed,” adding that the Biden administration fully supported states devastating their health sectors with mandates of vaccines against a disease from which the vast majority of working-age people recover without medical assistance and within a few weeks.

Hochul’s mandate also specifically bans religious exemptions, with the governor claiming the theological authority to decide which religious beliefs are legitimate.

“I’m not aware of a sanctioned religious exemption from any organized religion, in fact, they are encouraging the opposite,” Hochul said on September 15. “Everybody from the pope on down is encouraging people to get vaccinated.” The mandate also ignores natural immunity, offering no alternative for front-line health workers who have already successfully beaten the virus.

The Department of Labor specified that workers who fail to comply with the mandate are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

As of Sept. 22, 16 percent of all 450,000 hospital employees in New York had chosen not to take a COVID vaccine, and the same was true of 23 percent of 145,400 nursing home staff in the state. As of Monday, more than 80,000 health-care workers in New York state will be seeking jobs elsewhere due to the mandate. Northwell Health, one of New York’s largest health care providers, estimated that they would have to fire thousands of employees.

“This is creating an unprecedented crisis for us,” Tom Quatroche, the Erie County Medical Center Corporation’s president, told The New York Times. “I think we need more time to comply, and I’ve asked for that. For all the right reasons, the vaccine mandate was put in place. But the reality is it is creating a public health crisis in hospitals, with nobody to care for patients.”

New Yorkers protested the mandate Monday night, as many took to the streets, chanting “Wake up New York, Wake up New York.”

Despite Hochul’s tyrannical order, many New Yorkers appear to oppose mandated vaccines, raising signs across the state that read “My body, my choice” and “Health freedom now.”

Haley Strack is an intern at The Federalist and a student at Hillsdale College studying politics and journalism. Follow her on Twitter @StrackHaley or reach her at [email protected]
Photo Flickr
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