Susan Walsh / AP
A group of 10 states have filed a lawsuit against the Biden government demanding vaccination of US health workers against COVID-19, stating that the mandate is “unconstitutional and unlawful”.
Led by Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, the 10 states say mandatory statewide vaccination could lead to health worker shortages and threaten the jobs of “millions of health workers” during the early stages of the pandemic.
In addition to Missouri and Nebraska, attorneys general from Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota and New Hampshire also joined the lawsuit.
“Unfortunately, with this latest mandate from the Biden administration, the heroes of last year’s health care system are becoming unemployed. especially in rural Missouri, “said Schmitt in a press release.
He says his office has questioned the Biden government’s “illegal edicts” and this is the latest.
“This case illustrates why police violence over mandatory vaccination has always been the responsibility of the states and still rightly belongs to them,” argued the attorneys general in their lawsuit.
The 58-page lawsuit argues that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ vaccine mandate intrudes upon state police powers and says it violates several laws and rights, including the Administrative Procedure Act, Social Security Act, the Tenth Amendment, and federalism .
“By ignoring the facts on the ground and inappropriately dismissing concerns about labor shortages, the CMS vaccine mandate threatens the health interests of rural Americans,” the lawsuit said.
In September, President Biden unveiled a series of steps to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, announcing the vaccination of 17 million healthcare workers in hospitals and elsewhere that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding.
Last week, CMS issued a tentative final rule mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers in most facilities – such as hospitals and health systems – that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The new requirements, which came into force on November 5th, apply to around 76,000 providers.