Judge halts President Biden’s vaccine mandate for health workers in ten states

A federal judge temporarily stopped the Covid-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare employees in ten states.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp, who was appointed by former president Donald Trump, blocked the mandate for the time being. The ruling was made in a Missouri-based court, but applied to the ten states that filed a joint lawsuit: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

In a 32-page order, Schlep explained his ruling: “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 order from Biden would apply to healthcare workers in all 50 states who work in hospitals that receive federal funding- essentially anyone serving Medicare and Medicaid patients would need vaccination. The decision is temporary and will continue to move on to a higher court. Attorneys for the Department of Justice did not say if they were planning to appeal.

The following day, another federal judge, based in a Louisiana court, issued a similar ruling, which applies to 14 states. The judge, District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty, also appointed by Trump, wrote, “There is no question that mandating a vaccine to 10.3 million health care workers is something that should be done by Congress, not a government agency.” He added, “It is not clear that even an act of Congress mandating a vaccine would be constitutional.”




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