Nursing home workers in New York state who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine should not be allowed to work says Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera.
“No vaccine, no work, no school, no in-person shopping,” Rivera said on Twitter on July 13. “You have a right not to be vaccinated. I have the right to protect my kids.”
“Nearly 1/3 of nursing home workers in NYS have not been vaccinated.” Says the NYPost. “Absolutely insane” says a local assemblyman. Agree with him.
No Vaccine, no work, no school, no in-person shopping. You have a right not to be vaccinated. I have the right to protect my kids.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) July 13, 2021
Rivera’s tweet was in reference to the New York Post’s July 12 article that said only 67 percent of nursing home staff have received a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to the 87 percent residents who’ve been vaccinated in the state of New York.
Around 67 percent of nursing home staff have also been vaccinated in New York City compared to 81 percent of its residents. However, only 58 percent of staffers in Brooklyn have received an inoculation compared to 75 percent of its nursing home residents as of July 10, according to the Post.
Overall, 58 percent of people 18 and older in Brooklyn are fully vaccinated and 63 percent have received at least one dose, as of July 15.
Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after being injected with the second dose of a messenger RNA vaccine or a one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The largest healthcare union, 1199SEIU, which represents the nursing home workers, said members are encouraged to get vaccinated but do not support a vaccine mandate.
“We strongly encourage our members to get the vaccine when available, as we believe it is a vital tool to help us move forward from COVID-19. We do not, however, support a mandate,” the organization said in a statement.
CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said that COVID-19 vaccines should be mandated. The emergency physician and former president of Planned Parenthood said that businesses and schools should make it difficult for people to stay unvaccinated.
“What we really need to do at this point is to make vaccination the easy choice. It needs to be hard for people to remain unvaccinated,” Wen said on July 10.
“Right now, it’s kind of the opposite. It’s fine, I mean it’s easy if you’re unvaccinated, you could do everything you want to do anyway. But at some point, these mandates by workplaces, by schools, I think it will be important to say, ‘Hey, you can opt-out, but if you want to opt-out, you have to sign these forms, you have to get twice-weekly testing,’” she added.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that the Biden administration has no plans to issue a nationwide vaccine mandate but will support local mandates.
“If I remember the context of the question, it was about federal mandates … that’s not a decision that we are making. That’s not our intention from the federal government,” Psaki said at a press conference on July 12.
She added, “There will be decisions made by private sector entities, by universities, by educational institutions, and even perhaps by local leaders—should they decide that is how to keep their communities safe. If they decide to make that decision, we certainly support them in that step.”
Opponents of vaccine mandates say that the three COVID-19 vaccines offered in the United States have only been issued emergency use authorization and haven’t been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Yet, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in updated guidance in May 2021 said that businesses may require their employees to be vaccinated as long as “employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1962 and other EEO [equal employment opportunity] considerations.”
Lawmakers in many states, except Nevada, West Virginia, Maryland, and Maine have responded by introducing legislation to prohibit businesses from mandating a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, including legislation banning vaccine passports or a vaccine requirement to attend school.
A total of 141 bills have been introduced across the country with seven having passed legislation and 15 signed into law by the governor, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy.
Oklahoma became the first state to ban the COVID-19 vaccine as a requirement to attend public schools, colleges, and universities when Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed Senate Bill 658 into law on May 28. The bill also prohibits schools from implementing mask mandates on unvaccinated students.
In addition, Gov. Mike DeWine has signed House Bill 244 into law on July 14 to prevent k-12 schools and universities from mandating COVID-19 vaccines that are not FDA-approved.