House Republicans from New York are demanding Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul end the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
Comments from the 10 legislators came in a Thursday letter to Hochul. The letter was spearheaded by Reps. Elise Stefanik and Claudia Tenney. Joining them in signing the letter were: Reps. Anthony Esposito, Nicole Malliotakis, George Santos, Andrew Garbarino, Michael Lawler, Nick Langworthy, Nick LaLota, and Marc Molinaro.
In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, "The evidence is clear: the staffing shortage affecting New York's healthcare sector is a crisis and must be addressed. While long-term solutions must also be considered, it is imperative for your administration to drop its COVID-19 vaccine mandate immediately so that healthcare workers can return to serving their friends, loved ones, and neighbors. Decades of healthcare experience are being left on the sidelines or pushed into other states as a result of the mandate. This is even more noteworthy given that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Director has publicly stated that the vaccine cannot prevent transmission."
And Stefanik said: "Kathy Hochul must repeal her authoritarian COVID-19 mandate for healthcare workers, so upstate New Yorkers can have the access to the quality care they need. These mandates are an attack on the personal freedoms of our frontline workers and have unnecessarily exacerbated the healthcare workforce shortage at New York hospitals and healthcare centers. There should be no more reason our rural hospitals have to continue to suffer from another crisis of Kathy Hochul's creation."
And Tenney said: "Our essential heroes continue to be attacked and demonized by Kathy Hochul and her unconstitutional policies. Countless hospitals in Upstate New York have been forced to close wings or turn away patients due to the vaccine mandate. Vaccine mandates completely violate an individual's constitutional rights and are now negatively affecting others. It's time for Hochul to revoke her disastrous COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers across New York."
The Hochul administration began requiring workers at hospitals and nursing homes to be vaccinated on Sept. 27, 2021, and had expanded the requirement to include workers at assisted living homes, hospice care, treatment centers, and home health aides.