NYC Says Supreme Court Vaccination Mandate Ruling Does Not Affect Its Rule – NBC4 New York

What you should know

  • New York City’s health commissioner on Friday criticized the US Supreme Court’s ruling on the president’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate as “misguided.”
  • Dr. Dave Chokshi, who will keep his post until March as part of Mayor Eric Adams’ transition plan, tweeted that he was appalled by Thursday’s high court decision.
  • The health and safety of all Americans should be paramount, especially in the midst of a pandemic,” Chokshi tweeted on Friday.

NEW YORK — New York City’s health commissioner on Friday criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the president’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate as “misguided” and tried to stop one point extremely clear: the city’s private sector rule is still in effect.

Dr. Dave Chokshi, who will keep his post until March as part of Mayor Eric Adams’ transition plan, tweeted that he was dismayed by Thursday’s high court decision, which blocked President Joe Biden’s private sector vaccine mandate, but he allowed a version of the rule applicable to most US health care workers to stand.

“The health and safety of all Americans should be paramount, especially in the midst of a pandemic,” Chokshi tweeted on Friday. “In New York City, our vaccine requirements, including our private sector mandate, remain in effect and highlight how vital local public health efforts are.”

New York City’s private sector vaccine mandate applies to approximately 184,000 businesses and has a critically different component compared to the one the Biden administration tried to introduce: there is no weekly testing option.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his intention to implement the rule in early December, long before the worst of the Omicron surge that hit the city, but perhaps after health care officials and experts already had a clue. what was to come.

The mandate went into effect on December 27, and Adams made it clear on the eve of his swearing-in as mayor that he intended to keep it in his administration.

De Blasio had heralded the measure as the “toughest” vaccine mandate in the nation when he announced his plans in early December, vowing it would stand up in court despite questions from reporters, critics and key stakeholders about its feasibility. .

At the time, the then-mayor turned those questions over to his corporate counsel, Georgia Pestana, who said the responsibility to enforce and implement the New York City mandate was the key difference between the de Blasio and Biden administrations. and the main reason he would stand his ground in the court system.

The city’s mandate, as Pestana and de Blasio pointed out, came from the city’s health commissioner, who said he has the legal right to enact such orders when there is a significant, credible, perceived or otherwise perceived threat to public health.

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he will send new federal medical backup teams to hospitals in New York and New Jersey, as part of an effort to shore up the nation’s medical system as COVID hospitalizations remain near record highs. Rafael Pujols responds.

In Biden’s case, there were questions about the legal authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to administer one mandate and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to administer another, Pestana said.

Thursday’s Supreme Court decision comes amid an unprecedented rise in Omicron for the speed at which it dominated COVID cases in the United States and for its ability to infect more fully vaccinated people more skillfully than any another variant.

In a full New York City Department of Health report released late Thursday, officials said it took only five weeks for Omicron to dominate cases in all five boroughs once it was detected. Delta took 20 weeks to do the same.

Omicron sickened more New Yorkers faster than any previous variant, and while most cases were milder than those associated with delta, the sheer volume caused COVID hospitalizations to skyrocket to levels not seen since April 2020.

Still, the city has been able to handle the increases, in part because people are being discharged faster than when delta was driving the surge in cases.

Multiple studies from multiple countries, both peer-reviewed and not, have underscored that data point on hospitalizations in recent weeks.

Many large corporations were silent on Thursday’s ruling by the high court to block the requirement that workers at companies with at least 100 employees be fully vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 and wear a mask at work.

The Supreme Court ruling came amid a week in which New York City and state viral rates began to decline for the first time since Omicron’s rapid emergence. Rolling positivity rates and case averages are declining for the first time in more than a month and have been doing so for several days, while increases in hospitalizations are beginning to slow. Deaths, the latest lagging indicator, are rising.

Chokshi, who will hand over the reins of the health department to Adams-appointed commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan on March 15, has emphasized the utmost caution and the continuation of basic COVID protocols, such as the vaccine mandate, in amid this week’s improvement even as Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul fielded questions about whether she would let her statewide mask or vaccination mandate expire on Feb. 2.

Hochul made it clear at one of her briefings this week when asked about that rule that she wasn’t ready to make any decisions yet. He wanted to make sure that the current trends were not only maintained but were sustainable. It may take a few more weeks to get clarity.

Nationwide, the United States has broken records for daily cases multiple times this month, as hospitalizations have soared across the country. Biden sent military backup teams to six hard-hit states to bolster hospital resources as the nation battles a seemingly unrelenting pandemic that has already claimed more than 842,000 American lives and continues to kill nearly 2,000 a day across the country.

The US Supreme Court split along party lines in its decision on Thursday, with the conservative majority concluding that the Biden administration overstepped its authority by assigning OSHA responsibility for the mandate.

The three liberal justices argued that the court was overreaching by substituting their judgment for that of health experts. OSHA had argued that the far-reaching mandate could save some 6,500 lives and prevent 250,000 hospitalizations in the next six months.

President Biden said he was “disappointed that the Supreme Court chose to block common-sense, life-saving requirements for employees of large companies that were directly based on both science and law.”

He called on companies to set their own vaccination requirements, noting that a third of Fortune 100 companies have already done so.

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