Gov. Kathy Hochul is weighing her "options" after the New York Supreme Court judge struck down a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for her state's healthcare workers. The New York Democrat is doubling down on the failed policy even as the Empire State faces a shortage of vital workers in hospitals and nursing homes.
Earlier this month, New York Supreme Court Justice Gerard Neri ruled that the state overstepped its authority with the jab mandates. He said the requirement was "null, void, and of no effect" going forward.
Still, the state Department of Health insists COVID-19 vaccines are "a critical public health tool" even as it is becoming clear that they don't prevent infection or transmission of the virus. Jennifer Lewke, a WHEC-TV investigative reporter, asked Hochul what the plan was going forward.
"The hospitals and nursing homes say they’re waiting for DOH guidance on whether they can hire any of those workers back," Lewke said. What’s the latest on that?"
"I will say that last year in my State of the State, we put forth a plan to help retention and also recruitment, and a lot of those programs are just unfolding now," Hochul said. She has been reluctant to admit the actual cause of the crisis tied to the mandates.
She added that there will be "$20 billion to bring back the healthcare system, including bonuses for existing workers, helping settle nursing strikes, which I get very involved in, to make sure that patients are being cared for," Hochul claimed. "It’s a problem, but I don’t think the answer is to have someone who comes in who is sick, be exposed to someone who can give them coronavirus, give them COVID-19," she said.
"I don’t know that that’s the right answer," the governor went on. "In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not," she admitted.
"So, we’re exploring our options, but I think everybody who goes into a healthcare facility or nursing home should have the assurance, and their family members should know, that we have taken all steps to protect the public health and that includes making sure that those who come in contact with them at their time of most vulnerability, when they are sick or elderly, will not pass on the virus," Hochul claimed. Unfortunately, her reasoning is fundamentally flawed.
What Hocuhul failed to mention is that the vaccines have now been proven ineffective at stopping transmission while parroting the same information spread by President Joe Biden in December 2021. She has repeatedly downplayed or ignoreed the crisis with the healthcare worker shortage and its roots.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and other New York lawmakers petitioned the governor to fess up and fix the problem. "The evidence is clear: the staffing shortage affecting New York’s healthcare sector is a crisis and must be addressed," they said in a letter to the governor. The lawmakers noted that there were 9,300 unfilled nursing jobs as of December 7, 2022.
"Our communities and hospitals need your support, not your burdensome mandates, as they continue to operate under historic staffing shortages," the lawmakers added. This crisis converges with a new lawsuit filed by dozens of New York City employees who were fired because of the mandate.
They are now seeking $250 million in damages from the city and spotlight the problematic mandates, the New York Post reported. These 72 former workers are a cross-section of the Department of Education, Department of Health, Fire Department of New York, and New York Police Department.
While vaccine mandates have fallen by the wayside in other parts of the city, they remained in place for these workers who have lost their jobs and some even their homes because of it. They have pointed out that officials, including President Joe Biden, have declared the pandemic over, but the restrictions remain to their financial detriment.
Tyrants in the Democratic Party are reluctant to let their power go even as the pandemic indeed appears to be over. However, the vaccine mandate is the most troubling leftover considering it has been proven useless at stopping the spread and confers no benefits -- except for those interested in wielding power.