Alabama AG files lawsuit to block COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

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FILE – In this Aug. 20, 2018, file photo, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall speaks at a roundtable during an event to salute U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(WHNT) — Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit Monday to block a mandate that would require healthcare workers to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The mandate comes from the Biden administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and unlike the vaccine requirement for federal contractors, it does not allow workers to be tested weekly for the virus in lieu of taking the vaccine.

“One can only imagine the damage that will be done by this mandate to already short-staffed rural and community hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes that receive federal funds for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” said Marshall in a statement. “They are effectively being held hostage by Biden to either force vaccination compliance by January 4, 2022, or fire vitally-needed doctors, nurses, and other medical staff.”

This is the second lawsuit filed by Attorney General Marshall against the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandates.

According to the White House’s COVID-19 Plan, COVID-19 vaccines would be required for all healthcare facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement – including hospitals, dialysis centers, home health agencies, and ambulatory surgical settings.

The White House’s plan states the requirement applies to around 50,000 healthcare workers nationwide.

“As we’ve seen with businesses – large and small – across all sectors of our economy, the overwhelming majority of Americans choose to get vaccinated,” said President Joe Biden when announcing the policy. “There have been no ‘mass firings’ and worker shortages because of vaccination requirements. Despite what some predicted and falsely assert, vaccination requirements have broad public support.”

“No one should be at risk when they seek medical care,” Biden continued.

The lawsuit brings Alabama together with the states of Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.

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