Health

Justice Department asks court to authorize vaccinations

The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court late Thursday night to block lower court orders that prevent President Joe Biden from administering vaccines to healthcare workers in about half of the states.

The administration asked judges to authorize “urgently needed health and safety measures to take effect before the winter surge in COVID-19 cases deepens further.”

It said that this requirement “will save hundreds or even thousands of lives every month.”

The administration’s request came the day after the 5th US District Court of Appeals in New Orleans lifted a nationwide ban on this mandate. Instead, the court allowed the stay of the mandate in 14 states that have collectively filed a lawsuit in federal court in Louisiana. This action reversed the November 30 ruling of District Judge Terry Doughty, which initially applied its ruling nationwide.

Another appellate court, the 8th US District Court of Appeals, based in St. Louis, refused to violate a lower court ruling blocking mandate in 10 other states.

The Biden administration has asked the judges to give powers to go into effect in the 24 states that are subject to the decisions of the two courts. On Wednesday, a Texas federal judge issued an injunction that only applies to that state.

Another appeals court, the 11th US District Court of Appeals, upheld the mandate, saying Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has the power to demand vaccines.

The Supreme Court is considering a rule released November 5 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid that applies to a wide range of health care providers receiving federal Medicare or Medicaid funding. This required their workers to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by December 6 and be fully vaccinated by January 4. More than 17 million workers were planned to be affected in some 76,000 healthcare facilities as well as home healthcare facilities. providers. The mandate has exceptions for religious and medical reasons.

Legal challenges to Biden’s mandate to vaccinate private employers also continue.

In other cases, the High Court has allowed stricter vaccine requirements. On Monday, judges refused to lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for New York health workers, which does not provide for an exemption for religious reasons. Earlier, the court rejected an emergency appeal from medical workers in Maine to block vaccinations, which have no religious exceptions. In both cases, three conservative judges – Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito – disagreed.


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