Assembly GOP pushes for delay in healthcare worker vaccine mandate

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State’s healthcare worker vaccine mandate is now in effect. And while Governor Kathy Hochul has a plan to mitigate staffing shortages, some say it will not immediately remedy the situation. 

“People have known for quite some time that this was a requirement, and I’ve made it loud and clear over my four weeks in office that I was not going to change my position because I’m charged with protecting the health of all New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said on Monday.

The Governor signed off on an executive order that permits medically trained National Guard members, retired health care workers, recent graduates, and those licensed in other states and countries to step in over the healthcare worker vaccine mandate. She’s also working with the federal government to try to “expedite visa requests” for medical workers as well. 

But members of the Assembly GOP say the plan doesn’t cut it. They’ve signed onto a letter to the Governor asking her to delay the mandate deadline. 

“With the Governor now having put forth emergency plans, emergency orders, talking about deploying the National Guard, I think that preparation had to go on weeks before this mandate went into effect, not right before it went into effect,” said Assemblyman Ed Ra.

He says the mandate and plan should be re-thought. 

“I think we need to remember these were the individuals, that while many of us were working from home, were in our hospitals, in our nursing homes with inadequate PPE, and to see them pushed out of their jobs without considering other alternatives like a testing option, I think is really a shame,” he said.

There is a temporary restraining order on the health care worker mandate for those claiming a religious exemption, but the state is fighting that.

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