BATON ROUGE, LA – A coalition of 22 states, led by Louisiana
Attorney General Jeff Landry and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, is calling on the Biden Administration to
withdraw its COVID shot mandate for healthcare workers and all related
guidance. Even though COVID vaccines have proven largely impotent in preventing
transmission, studies have shown increased health risks associated with the
vaccines, and the justification for the rushed mandate has disappeared –
Biden’s decree remains in force.
Attorneys General Landry and Knudsen and many of his colleagues have filed a petition under the Administrative Procedures Act requesting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services take immediate action to repeal its Interim Final Rule (IFR) and State Surveyor Guidance, which require participating healthcare facilities to “develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that all staff are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.”
As noted and predicted when Attorney General Landry’s Office defended our healthcare heroes before the U.S. Supreme Court, the mandate has violated the rights of workers and worsened staffing shortages in the healthcare sector – especially in rural areas.
"This misguided Biden mandate remains a one-size-fits-all, job-killing directive," explained Attorney General Landry. "Our healthcare heroes and their patients deserve better than medical tyranny."
"The mandate has limited many patients’ access to needed medical care and imposed substantial costs on patients and healthcare workers without any corresponding benefits," added Attorney General Knudsen. "The Biden administration should have never imposed this mandate, and CMS should now throw it in the trash bin where it belongs."
The IFR regulates over 10 million healthcare workers and suppliers in the United States. Of those, CMS estimated that 2.4 million were unvaccinated when it issued the IFR.
“CMS’s objective is to coerce the unvaccinated workforce into submission or cause them to lose their livelihoods,” the petition states. “If CMS succeeds in coercing states to enforce the IFR against their own citizens, these healthcare workers will lose their jobs (or not return if they already have), states will lose frontline healthcare workers, providers, suppliers, and services, and America’s most vulnerable populations will lose access to necessary medical care.”
As a result, states will further lose frontline healthcare workers, providers, and suppliers and ultimately, America’s most vulnerable populations will lose access to necessary medical care. CMS itself has already admitted there are “endemic staff shortages for all categories of employees at almost all kinds of healthcare providers and suppliers.”
“As a result of the IFR, significant numbers of their citizens who are healthcare employees have been forced to submit to bodily invasion, navigate exemption processes, or lose their jobs and their livelihoods,” the petition states. “All their citizens will suffer as a result of the predictable and conceded exacerbation of labor shortages in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.”
The vaccine mandate violates the states’ sovereign right to enact and enforce their laws and exercise their police power on matters such as compulsory vaccination and it fundamentally changes the deal under which they agreed to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Additionally, the IFR is arbitrary and capricious, structurally defective, and exceeds CMS’s statutory authority. Constitutionally speaking, it violates the Tenth Amendment; Nondelegation, Major Questions, and Anti-Commandeering doctrines; and the Spending Clause.
In addition to Attorneys General Landry and Knudsen – the attorneys general from Arizona and Tennessee led the effort with the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming joining the cause.