Second Group of States Challenges Health Worker Vaccine Mandate

A health worker picks syringes as seniors get vaccinated with the first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at the newly-opened mass vaccination program for the elderly at a drive-thru vaccination center in Johannesburg, South Africa.
FILE - In this Tuesday, May 25, 2021 file photo, a health worker picks syringes as seniors get vaccinated with the first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at the newly-opened mass vaccination program for the elderly at a drive-thru vaccination center in Johannesburg, South Africa. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

By KEVIN McGILL Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A second set of states has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

The latest suit, dated Monday, was filed in Louisiana on behalf of 12 states and comes less than a week after another lawsuit challenging the rule was filed in Missouri by a coalition of 10 states.

“The federal government will not impose medical tyranny on Louisiana’s people without my best fight,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a news release announcing the lawsuit.

Related: EMS Lawline: President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan and Its Impact On EMS Agencies

Both lawsuits say the vaccine mandate threatens to drive away health care workers who refuse to get vaccinated at a time when such workers are badly needed. They also contend the rule issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services violates federal law and unconstitutionally encroaches on powers reserved to the states.

The Louisiana lawsuit quotes from Friday’s order by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocking a broader Biden administration vaccine mandate that businesses with more than 100 workers require employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or wear masks and be tested weekly for COVID-19.

Borrowing language from the 5th Circuit, the Louisiana lawsuit calls the health care worker vaccine requirement a “one-size-fits-all” sledgehammer. In addition to Louisiana, the suit covers Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.

The Missouri suit includes Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The Biden administration has not yet filed responses in either of the suits.

The Louisiana-based lawsuit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, an appointee of President Donald Trump. Any appeals of a Doughty decision would go to the 5th Circuit.

Author

  • © Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No posts to display