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New York may tap National Guard to replace unvaccinated healthcare workers

CoronavirusSep 26, 2021 10:45PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A nurse receives one of the first vaccinations at Mt. Sinai Hospital from Pfizer-BioNTech during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 15, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Fi 2/2

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) - New York Governor Kathy Hochul is considering employing the National Guard and out-of-state medical workers to fill hospital staffing shortages with tens of thousands of workers possibly losing their jobs for not meeting a Monday deadline for mandated COVID-19 vaccination.

The plan, outlined in a statement from Hochul on Saturday, would allow her to declare a state of emergency to increase the supply of healthcare workers to include licensed professionals from other states and countries as well as retired nurses.

Hochul said the state was also looking at using National Guard officers with medical training to keep hospitals and other medical facilities adequately staffed. Some 16% of the state's 450,000 hospital staff, or roughly 72,000 workers, have not been fully vaccinated, the governor's office said.

The plan comes amid a broader battle between state and federal government leaders pushing for vaccine mandates to help counter the highly infectious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus and workers who are against inoculation requirements, some objecting on religious grounds.

Hochul attended the Sunday service at a large church in New York City to ask Christians to help promote vaccines.

"I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say, we owe this to each other," Hochul told congregants at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, according to an official transcript.

"Jesus taught us to love one another and how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, please get the vaccine because I love you and I want you to live."

Healthcare workers who are fired for refusing to get vaccinated will not be eligible for unemployment insurance unless they are able to provide a valid doctor-approved request for medical accommodation, Hochul's office said.

It was not immediately clear how pending legal cases concerning religious exemptions would apply to the state's plan to move ahead and terminate unvaccinated healthcare workers.

A federal judge in Albany temporarily ordered New York state officials to allow religious exemptions for the state-imposed vaccine mandate on healthcare workers, which was put in place by former Governor Andrew Cuomo and takes effect on Monday.

A requirement for New York City school teachers and staff to get vaccinated was temporarily blocked by a U.S. appeals court just days before it was to take effect. A hearing is set for Wednesday.

The highly transmissible Delta variant has driven a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the United States that peaked in early September and has since fallen, according to a Reuters tally https://tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR. Deaths, a lagging indicator, continue to rise with the nation reporting about 2,000 lives lost on average a day for the past week, mostly in the unvaccinated.

While nationally cases are down about 25% from their autumn peak, rising new infections in New York have only recently leveled off, according to a Reuters tally.

In an attempt to better protect the most vulnerable, the CDC on Friday backed a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older, adults with underlying medical conditions and adults in high-risk working and institutional settings.

On Sunday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky fleshed out who should be eligible for the booster shots based on their work in high-risk settings.

"That includes people in homeless shelters, people in group homes, people in prisons, but also importantly, our people who work...with vulnerable communities," Walensky said during a TV interview. "So our health care workers, our teachers, our grocery workers, our public transportation employees."

Walensky decided to include a broader range of people than was recommended on Thursday by a group of expert outside advisers to the agency. The CDC director is not obliged to follow the advice of the panel.

New York may tap National Guard to replace unvaccinated healthcare workers
 

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Comments (8)
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Sep 27, 2021 1:17PM ET
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Sooooo, they'll tap the National Guard for this, but not when they had riots destroying their city. Cool
Chris Ru
Chris Ru Sep 27, 2021 12:40AM ET
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scary times ahead
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Sep 26, 2021 10:34PM ET
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We need RN’s and assistances down here in AZ. We welcome anyone that is fleeing the impire state. Just don’t bring your leftist ways here. And stay away from Phoenix. The highlands are so much better.
Jm Vm
Jm Vm Sep 26, 2021 10:34PM ET
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Radical alt-right red AZ needs RN's and assistants to care for less than bright infected Covid patients. We'll get right on that.
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Sep 26, 2021 10:34PM ET
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Jm Vm You wouldnt know what alt right or left is if it came and smacked you right in the face.
John Conforti
John Conforti Sep 26, 2021 9:41PM ET
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Looks like another Government miscalculation . The Government will be powerless when people simply refuse to cooperate.
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Sep 26, 2021 8:00PM ET
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Lol lol lol.  Everything left touches... Interesting she said she will replace medical workers with foreigners. Now this
Tony Ab
Tony Ab Sep 26, 2021 8:00PM ET
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They are taking a page book play from comunist manifesto
Mike Mike
Mike Mike Sep 26, 2021 6:54PM ET
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Why bother? Covid will "remove" these roaches very soon
Matt Brackley
Matt Brackley Sep 26, 2021 6:54PM ET
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enjoy the rest of your days blaming a pandemic for your shortcomings. I truly pity people like you and need not wish harm on you as misery is all you subscribe to.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Sep 26, 2021 6:54PM ET
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Probabally not, unless there obese with unhealthy lifestyles, which is doubtful considering their occupation. Follow the science, not media and politicians.
Tony Ab
Tony Ab Sep 26, 2021 6:54PM ET
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Dont let the light hit you , cuz then you have to crawl under the rock you came from
Mike Mike
Mike Mike Sep 26, 2021 6:54PM ET
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Hahaha look at the number of soon-to-die m00. Rons.
Matt Brackley
Matt Brackley Sep 26, 2021 6:07PM ET
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lol...same story everywhere. the distraction is almost over. crisis overted for now. no war with China. it was closer than ever though and nobody even noticed.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Sep 26, 2021 12:02PM ET
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Does Governor know vaccinated can pass on the virus?
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Sep 26, 2021 12:02PM ET
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He doesnt know that vaccination is actually a selfish act because it only protects you from serious hospitalization allegedly i have seen numerous die that are fully vaccinated. Poor choices lead to poor results such as using the military because you cant provide adequate hethcare now. Congrats new york the government just took over your healthcare the same government that can run a balanced checkbook like most americans can….lol so stupid
Jm Vm
Jm Vm Sep 26, 2021 12:02PM ET
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Josh Davis Less than bright upset because people protect themselves from deadly pandemic virus. Results evident in DeSantis/trump coolers parked outside morgues across the Nation. More at 11.
 
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