Ten Republican-led states have filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration over a federal mandate demanding that all healthcare workers get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to CBS News.
The suit, led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson (R-Neb.), was filed in a federal district court in St. Louis, Missouri. It argues that such a mandate will lead to a dramatic shortage in healthcare workers, potentially in the millions, and will especially impact rural areas.
“This case illustrates why the police power over compulsory vaccination has always been the province of — and still properly belongs to — the states,” the lawsuit declares. “Vaccination requirements are matters that depend on local factors and conditions. Whatever might make sense in New York City, St. Louis, or Omaha could be decidedly counterproductive and harmful in rural communities like Memphis, Missouri or McCook, Nebraska.”
Joe Biden first announced the mandate in September, which made up just one component of his broader nationwide vaccine mandate. The rule required healthcare workers at facilities funded by Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus, or else face termination. In many cases, such employees are not allowed to seek medical or religious exemptions, and are also denied the option of electing to submit to weekly tests as an alternative to vaccination.
The Biden Administration admits that the rule will impact up to 2.4 million healthcare workers. The latest version of the rule, published on November 5th, gives healthcare workers across the nation until January 4th to get vaccinated.
The ten states challenging this particular mandate are: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
The lawsuit warns that the potential firing of millions of employees would be “devastating” for smaller, rural communities.
“If the CMS vaccine mandate drives out enough employees from particular facilities,” the states explained, “those facilities might be forced to close certain divisions, cancel certain services or shutter altogether.”
Biden’s vaccine mandates have been facing consistent legal challenges since they were announced. In a separate suit, 11 states sued the administration on Friday to stop the nationwide mandate for private sector workers. On Saturday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay against the mandate for all private companies with 100 employees or more, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) demanded implement vaccine mandates or else face retaliation.