New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed an executive order to address potential healthcare staffing shortages as a result of her vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
"The only way we can move past this pandemic is to ensure that everyone eligible is vaccinated, and that includes those who are taking care of our vulnerable family members and loved ones," the Democrat governor said in a Monday statement on her website.
"On Saturday I released a comprehensive plan in advance of the deadline for the vaccine mandate that keeps New Yorkers safe, and tonight I am adding even more provisions to take bold action to alleviate potential staffing shortages. To monitor developments on the ground, I am also directing an around-the-clock operations center to assist local partners and troubleshoot staffing issues in real time."
According to her website, the executive order "significantly expands the eligible healthcare workforce and allows additional healthcare workers to administer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations."
And The Hill noted that her order declared a statewide emergency and authorized state agencies to assist with filling roles by people who chose not to receive a vaccination.
It authorizes any licensed, out-of-state healthcare professionals from anywhere in the U.S. to come to New York and work.
The governor’s office said she also "plans to work with the federal government and other state leaders to explore ways to expedite visa requests for medical professionals and is monitoring whether the deployment of medically-trained National Guard members may be necessary to execute at any point."
Meanwhile, attorneys for the Thomas More Society, a prominent religious liberty group, filed a lawsuit on Sept. 13 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, calling the state's health worker vaccine mandates "patently unconstitutional" and an attempt "to nullify protections for sincere religious beliefs granted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
"What New York is attempting to do is slam shut an escape hatch from an unconstitutional vaccine mandate," Thomas More Society special counsel Christopher Ferrara wrote in a statement. "And they are doing this while, knowing that many people have sincere religious objections to vaccines that were tested, developed, or produced with cell lines derived from aborted children."
Meanwhile, Hochul asked members of a Brooklyn church on Sunday to "be my apostles" to promote New York's vaccine mandate agenda as unvaccinated individuals "aren’t listening to God and what God wants."
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