New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on rehiring unvaccinated healthcare workers: Not the ‘right answer’

New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul stood firm saying rehiring unvaccinated healthcare workers is not the “right response” despite vaccination mandates being lifted and the state suffering from severe shortages of health workers.

“I don’t think the answer is to have someone come in, who is sick, exposed to someone who can give them COVID-19. I don’t know if that’s the right answer, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.” So, we’re exploring our options,” the New York governor said Tuesday after being asked about bringing back unvaccinated health care workers. “But I think everyone who comes into a health care facility or to a nursing home should be assured and your family member should know that we have taken all steps to protect public health. And that includes making sure that those who come into contact with them at their most vulnerable, when they are sick or elderly, will not spread the virus.”

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Governor Kathy Hochul holds a press conference on media availability and makes an announcement on abortion rights at the office at 633 3rd Avenue.
(Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The reporter responded, asking Hochul if there were any other precautions, such as wearing a mask, to allow unvaccinated health workers to return to hospitals.

“I can’t put people in harm’s way, because when you go into a health care facility, you hope you don’t walk out sicker than you did. I think that’s something all New Yorkers would hope for.” replied the Governor.

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In a January 19 letter, a group of 10 legislators expressed concern to Gov. Hochul about severe staffing shortages that they say have been exacerbated by the mandate.

“Decades of healthcare experience is being shelved or moved to other states as a result of the mandate.” the Republican lawmakers wrote in the joint letter. “This is all the more remarkable given that the director of the US Centers for Disease Control has publicly stated that the vaccine cannot prevent transmission.”

Lenox Hill Hospital emergency medicine chair Yves Duroseau receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Michelle Chester at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Lenox Hill Hospital emergency medicine chair Yves Duroseau receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Michelle Chester at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
(Scott Heins/Getty Images)

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York, USA, Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York, USA, Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
(Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The lawmakers wrote the letter days after a state Supreme Court judge struck down the injunction on Jan. 13, calling it “null and void and of no effect.”

In his ruling, Judge Gerard Neri said the governor and the New York State Department of Health exceeded their authority by making the requirement permanent because the COVID-19 vaccine is not included in the health law. state public.

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“The injunction is beyond the scope of defendants’ authority and is therefore null, void, and of no effect,” Judge Neri concluded.

After the sentence, the state Health Department He said Saturday that he is “exploring his options” following the ruling.

As of September 27, 2021, the state requires healthcare workers across New York to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or be laid off. In the wake of the mandate, thousands of healthcare workers at nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have been fired, furloughed, or forced to resign because they would not comply with the mandate creating a vacuum in the industry.

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New York’s health care system is in desperate need of staff, with reports of ambulances waiting for hours at local emergency rooms to unload patients.

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