New York Governor Deploys National Guard to Replace Unvaccinated Health Care Workers
Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) announced Monday she was deploying her state’s National Guard regiment to replace unvaccinated health care workers.
Speaking at an afternoon press conference, Hochul said New York was “nation-leading” with a mandate set to take effect at midnight requiring health workers to vaccinated for Covid-19, and that she was signing an executive order “to give me the emergency powers necessary to address” resulting labor shortages. “That’s going to allow me to deploy the National Guard, who are medically trained,” Hochul said, as well as to deploy retired health workers “who may have had a license lapse.”
According to state health data, 16 percent of New York’s health workers have not been fully vaccinated. The mandate means up to 70,000 of the state’s 450,000 hospital personnel could be suspended or terminated from their positions as of Tuesday. Another 25,000 employees at nursing homes and adult care facilities have not been vaccinated.
In addition to loosening requirements for those whose medical licenses have expired, Hochul’s order is aimed at employing a greater number of recent graduates and expediting visa requests for foreign workers.
Hochul said terminating existing personnel was “not my first position” and added, “My desire is to have the people who’ve been out there continue to work in their jobs, work in them safely. And to all the other health care workers who are vaccinated, they also deserve to know that the people they’re working with will not get them sick.”
Watch above via the New York Governor’s Office.
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