OHIO — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Tuesday he's signing on to a lawsuit recently filed in Louisiana that challenges the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care employees.
On Nov. 4, the Biden-Harris administration announced health care workers are required to get the COVID-19 vaccine at health care facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. The requirement went into effect on Nov. 5, affecting around 76,000 providers, according to the White House.
The regulation states facilities have to establish a policy that all eligible staff must receive at least the first dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Dec. 6. Then they must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a lawsuit the next day, calling the move "misguided" and "unconstitutional." The lawsuit also claims it would worsen the current health care shortage, which Yost echoed.
“We have seen the challenges nursing homes and other facilities have had in retaining and recruiting staff,” Yost said. “This mandate, and the walkouts that will likely follow, will only make those challenges worse — leaving vulnerable Ohioans without adequate care.”
The lawsuit filed in the District Court of Louisiana is not the first against President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate.
Ten states filed a lawsuit on Nov. 10, which is being led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, also stating the claim the federal vaccine mandate will leave health care facilities short-staffed.
The State of Texas also filed a lawsuit on Oct. 29 against the Biden administration for mandating private companies with 100 or more employees to require COVID-19 vaccination. On Nov. 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit cited “grave statutory and constitutional issues” and blocked the mandate. Then the Biden administration suspended enforcement of the vaccines for private businesses.
Overnight Tuesday, Nov. 23, the Biden administration filed a motion asking a federal appeals court to lift a pause on its vaccine-or-test mandate for private businesses.
Yost also filed two lawsuits in the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit this month challenging the same vaccine mandate for companies as well as the mandate for federal contractors.
“It’s an unlawful use of executive power,” Yost said. "The president does not have the authority to make health-care decisions for Americans.”
Biden responded to the initial court-ordered block of the vaccine mandate for companies on Nov. 6, saying the decision “would likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day.”