Judge Halts Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Health Workers

U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp

Yesterday, a federal judge in Missouri halted President Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers and hospitals that receive federal funding.

Background: A coalition of healthcare workers across 10 states filed lawsuits over President Biden’s vaccine mandate. The workers argued that President Biden’s Nov. 5 mandate would cause worker shortages in the industry if employees decided to quit rather than get the vaccine.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp of the federal district court in St. Louis temporarily blocked the Biden administration from implementing its COVID-19 vaccine requirements for healthcare workers in ten states, finding the administration overstepped its authority in ordering employees at a range of health care facilities to get their shots. 

The Trump appointee said in his 32-page order that the group of states challenging the rule were likely to succeed on the merits of their case, as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) needed clear authorization from Congress to implement its vaccine requirement.

Schelp’s order prevents the Biden administration from implementing and enforcing its rule while litigation continues. The 10 states affected are Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

“The scale falls clearly in favor of healthcare facilities operating with some unvaccinated employees, staff, trainees, students, volunteers and contractors, rather than the swift, irremediable impact of requiring healthcare facilities to choose between two undesirable choices — providing substandard care or providing no healthcare at all,” Schelp wrote in a 32-page order. (per The Hill)