A federal judge in Missouri administered a healthy dose of common sense to the mandate-threatened hospital industry on Monday. Judge Matthew Schelp issued an order blocking the Biden administration from enforcing a vaccine mandate on some health workers in 10 states. The group of states, collectively, sought relief on a mandate that threatens to use withholding Medicare and Medicaid money to force health care workers to receive COVID vaccines.
The judge’s order stated the public “would suffer little, if any, harm from maintaining the ‘status quo” during what is expected to be a lengthy process and blocked any enforcement (layoffs) in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Undoubtedly, other states will likely join in the suit because it could affect approximately 7 million health workers.
In September the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention polled workers across the country to learn 30 percent were unvaccinated. It is believed the health industry has approximately 22 million workers, thus to lose 7 million would be a disaster. In a market that is already starving for employees, to reduce any hospital staff by one-third is ludicrous.
“In sum,” the judge wrote, “Plaintiff’s evidence shows that facilities – rural facilities in particular – likely would face crisis standards of care or will have no choice but to close to new patients or close altogether, both of which would cause significant, and irreparable, harm to Plaintiffs’ citizens.”
The judge even predicted the Plaintiffs will be successful in the suit, that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid lacked the legal authority to implement the requirement and that the Biden administration violated administrative law in rolling out the policy.
He also noted that the CMS has stated “the effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent disease transmission by those vaccinated is unknown, and that what is known by the Court, based on the evidence, is the mandate will have a crippling effect on a significant number of health facilities in Plaintiff’ states, especially in rural areas.”
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt expects the Justice Department to appeal the case and that it could ultimately go to the Supreme Court.
“We should be continuing to want to know about a variant,” Schmitt said, “and the truth is COVID is with us. There is always going to be a new variant. But I think people have had enough of the government locking people down, they’ve had enough of the government instituting mask mandates, they’ve had enough of the government instituting vaccine mandates.
“And so,” the Attorney General promised, “every time there is an overreach, we are going to fight back.”
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“I’D BE SINNING IF I DID THAT”
FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Garth Berenyl, from Levant, Maine, who was fired last month from a nursing home where he worked as executive director because he declined to get vaccinated, said he would likely look for work in another state. He said he objected to aborted fetal cell lines used in the testing or development of vaccines. All three COVID vaccines cleared for use in the United States use during testing or production the cell lines grown in laboratories based on aborted fetal cells collected decades ago.
“My conviction is clear,” said Berenyl, “I’d be sinning if I did that. It goes against every fiber in my body”
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HERITAGE FOUNDATION SUES BIDEN OVER MANDATE
FROM FOX NEWS: The Heritage Foundation has filed a lawsuit against President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers, claiming it is a "gross abuse" of government power and a violation of personal liberty, the conservative think tank announced Monday.
The American Center for Law and Justice filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Heritage Foundation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that claimed Biden’s vaccine mandate, enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health administration (OSHA), represents a "gross abuse of power" and "clearly encroaches on the police power of states expressly reserved by the Tenth Amendment."
The lawsuit says the mandate also "exceeds the federal government’s authority under the Commerce Clause," and would "impermissibly" compel citizens "to act as the Government would have them act."
Incoming Heritage president Kevin Roberts, who takes office Wednesday, said the lawsuit is unusual for the think tank but necessary.
"The Heritage Foundation has not historically filed lawsuits," Roberts said in a statement. "That we are doing so now should make clear to any observer that we view this mandate as deadly serious threat to our individual liberty and the values that make America great. Under my predecessors, The Heritage Foundation has stood rock-solid in defense of liberty, freedom, and opportunity for all, and it will continue to do so under my leadership."
"I wish this lawsuit were unnecessary," he continued. "I wish we had an administration in the White House that respected the Constitution and the rule of law. From the unprecedented border crisis, to the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal, to now this unlawful COVID vaccine mandate, it is irrevocably clear that this administration will stop at nothing - even harming Americans and our national interests - in pursuit of the most radical policy agenda in American history. Rest assured, we at Heritage are only just beginning to fight back."
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OSHA SUSPENDS VACCINE MANDATE FOR LARGE BUSINESSES
FROM FOX NEWS: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is abiding by a court order and suspending enforcement of the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate on large private businesses. In a statement on OSHA's website, the agency said, "The court ordered that OSHA 'take no steps to implement or enforce' the (Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)) ‘until further court order.’"
The agency said it "remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies."
The suspension comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a stay on the mandate. In response to the court's decision, the Department of Justice said it will "vigorously defend" the rules laid out by OSHA.
"OSHA is complying with the 5th Circuit’s stay," a Department of Labor official said. "OSHA is not enforcing or implementing the reg – so they are not engaging or offering compliance assistance."
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