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Federal judge halts Biden’s...

Federal judge halts Biden’s federal COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

By: Frank Corder - November 29, 2021

Coast hospital CEO says implementing the mandate will cause a material percentage of people who have some uncertainty, partially government-imposed, to quit.

A U.S. District Judge in Missouri has temporarily halted President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in hospitals and facilities that receive federal funding through Medicaid or Medicare.

The lawsuit was filed by ten states – Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming – earlier this month arguing that the Biden Administration’s mandate threatens to exacerbate an alarming shortage of healthcare workers, particularly in rural communities, that has already reached a boiling point.

The complaint also says such actions as to the police power over compulsory vaccination has always been left to the states.

District Judge Matthew Schlep seemed to agree with the states’ position as it relates to the worker shortages in his order.

“The scale falls clearly in favor of healthcare facilities operating with some unvaccinated employees, staff, trainees, students, volunteers and contractors, rather than the swift, irremediable impact of requiring healthcare facilities to choose between two undesirable choices — providing substandard care or providing no healthcare at all,” the judge opines.

In Mississippi, hospital executives here are opposing the healthcare worker vaccine mandates, mostly on the grounds of the impact it will have on their already strained staffing.

Profile photo of Lee Bond

Singing River Health System CEO Lee Bond is one of the executives questioning the wisdom of the mandate. He took to social media last week to outline his position on the vaccine mandates, saying the mandate lacked “critical thinking on the operational impact” such a mandate has on hospitals.

He went on to say implementing the mandate will cause “a material percentage of people who have some uncertainty, partially government-imposed, to quit.”

Here is what the Coast hospital executive had to say in its entirety:

We are completely in favor of vaccination and believe wholeheartedly that it is safe and effective. The math is indisputable – hardly any adverse outcomes after 7.6 billion doses administered. The science behind how it works is also relatively simple. It is such a shame that political division has caused so many false prophets to make untrue statements on Facebook that sound believable but are completely false. Moreover, the lack of critical thinking on the operational impact of a mandate is distressing, particularly on healthcare workers. If there were an excess of professional caregivers available I might actually support the mandate. But there are not. The shortage is unprecedented. Policymakers have lost sight of the big picture that our most important mission is to save lives. Implementing the mandate will cause a material percentage of people who have some uncertainty, partially government-imposed, to quit. Our highest calling is to save lives – and right now we need every qualified hand we can get in Mississippi, which happens to include some people who are not vaccinated.

See the source image

Again, I will say that I believe the vaccines are safe, but I also believe that the people who have fought hard for humanity for the past two years all across this country should not be terminated. Terminating a hero, even if the hero’s beliefs were errant, is nonsensical.

While several states have been successful in filing a lawsuit actually delaying the mandate for businesses, hospitals fall under a different regulation by CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services) and are set to face accreditation revocation, possibly not get paid by Medicare & Medicaid, and face fines and penalties starting December 5 if all healthcare workers do not comply with the mandate. There is another set of lawsuits that have been filed against CMS that may help delay the mandate, but it is indeterminate at this point as to whether they might be successful.

Let’s hope logic and humanity can overrule political division.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father.