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27 Sep, 2021 16:16

National Guard could be called upon in New York to make up for shortage of vaccinated healthcare workers

National Guard could be called upon in New York to make up for shortage of vaccinated healthcare workers

New York could be relying on National Guard personnel in its rush to replace healthcare workers who don’t comply with the state’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate, as the governor says those not getting inoculated aren’t listening to God.

Critics got New York’s possible National Guard plan trending on Monday, highlighting a possibility floated in a recent statement about controversial and looming mandates in the state. 

According to the governor’s office, the administration is considering declaring a state of emergency to “allow qualified health care professionals in other states and countries” to more easily be licensed to work in the state. Another possibility to deal with the potential of some hospitals losing thousands of workers refusing to comply with the state mandate includes bringing in National Guard soldiers. 

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Hospital and nursing home employees in New York are required to get their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of Monday, September 27. Health care professionals working in home care, hospices, or other facilities have until October 7 to get inoculated. 

Though vaccine mandates have been promised by President Joe Biden, and other states like Maine and California are following New York’s lead, they have been incredibly controversial. A vaccine mandate in New York city for teachers and other public school employees was challenged by multiple lawsuits and recently given a temporary injunction while a three judge panel reviews its legality. 

That mandate has also led to concerns about potential staffing shortages it will create in a field already dealing with staffing issues. 

The National Guard needing to be called in to deal with a staffing crisis that is itself a response to a vaccine mandate has added to the outrage of critics. Many have called the state’s staffing crisis an issue “they created.” 

“The impending health care worker shortage is man-made and entirely avoidable,” physician and author Nicole Saphier tweeted

Some hospitals have already warned employees not to show up for work on Tuesday if they cannot prove on Monday that they have been vaccinated. Some facilities have also temporarily halted new admissions to deal with potential shortages, including the Van Duyn nursing home in Syracuse. 

While the majority of healthcare workers are vaccinated, according to state data, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has shown no sign of backing down off the mandates. She even argued over the weekend that those getting inoculated are following God’s wishes. 

Telling a congregation at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn on Sunday that she wears her “‘vaccinated’ necklace all the time saying I’m vaccinated,” Hochul claimed the “smart ones” are getting inoculated, but those still refusing to do so are ignoring God. 

“All of you, yes, I know you’re vaccinated, you’re the smart ones, but you know there’s people out there who aren’t listening to God and what God wants. You know who they are,” she said. 

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