Republicans in New York’s congressional delegation are demanding that Gov. Kathy Hochul scrap COVID-19 vaccine mandates for medical employees to handle a nursing scarcity in hospitals and nursing houses.
“The proof is evident. The staffing scarcity affecting New York’s well being care sector is a disaster and should be addressed,” Rep. Claudia Tenney mentioned in a letter to Hochul co-signed by eight different GOP Home members — together with serial fibber Rep. George Santos and Home GOP Convention Chair Elise Stefanik.
“It’s crucial on your administration to drop its COVID-19 mandate instantly in order that well being care employees can return to serving their pals, family members and neighbors,” the GOP members of Congress informed Hochul.
The attraction dovetails with a $250 million lawsuit filed yesterday by former New York Metropolis employees who misplaced their jobs for refusing to get jabbed and who search to finish vaccine mandates for public staff.
The vaccine edict for medical employees was imposed to assist tamp down COVID-19 outbreaks in medical amenities — significantly nursing houses, the place greater than 15,000 frail, aged sufferers have been stricken with the bug and died — and hospitals.
COVID-19 deaths skyrocketed by practically a 3rd in New York state final month as the brand new contagious Kraken Omicron variant of the coronavirus swept by the populace — making it unlikely that public well being officers would rescind the vaccine mandate.
Ending vaccination and masking necessities has grow to be a significant speaking level and rallying cry for Republicans who imagine the federal government edicts have been counterproductive.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, thought-about a number one GOP contender for president in 2024, has proposed a state legislation to finish vaccine and masks mandates within the Sunshine State.
However public well being officers mentioned rescinding vaccine necessities for well being care employees is irresponsible — and will worsen, not reduce, staffing shortages by having extra staff out sick.
“We’d be taking pictures ourselves within the foot,” mentioned Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, dean of CUNY’s Graduate Faculty of Public Well being.
“To have medical professionals offering care to sufferers not vaccinated shouldn’t be accountable. Who advantages from this? Sufferers don’t profit — well being care employees don’t profit.”
Within the letter to Hochul, Tenney and the GOP delegation mentioned long-term nursing sufferers are flooding hospitals due to a scarcity of nurses and beds.
Additionally they mentioned well being care suppliers are spending “exponentially extra” to take care of staffing, and “this can’t go on any longer.”
“Whereas the shortages have been an ongoing concern, they proceed to be exacerbated by New York’s draconian COVID-19 vaccine mandate for well being care employees, which has compelled practically 34,000 well being care employees out of their jobs.”
The letter to Hochul was additionally co-signed by GOP Reps. Nicole Malliotakis, Anthony D’Esposito, Andrew Garbarino, Michael Lawler, Nick Langworthy and Nick LaLota.
Hochul’s workplace had no fast remark.
Final 12 months, Hochul did rescind a requirement for well being care employees to get COVID booster photographs following an outcry from well being care business officers about staffing woes.