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Virginia joins lawsuit against vaccine mandate for healthcare workers and staff

The Commonwealth of Virginia has joined a coalition of states in a lawsuit arguing that the federal government does not have the power to impose a vaccine mandate through the interim rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Healthcare workers and staff, who have bravely served on the front lines of the pandemic, should not have to choose between losing their jobs and getting the vaccine.

While the Attorney General of Virginia is vaccinated, boosted, and encourages everyone to get the vaccine, forcing Virginians to choose between their job and the vaccine exceeds the power of the federal government. Our hospital systems are desperate for nurses and other healthcare workers - we should not punish those willing to serve and take other common-sense precautions, like regular testing. This mandate would disproportionately affect our rural communities and hospitals, which are already overworked and understaffed.

The Supreme Court recently ruled in a similar case that the government could not use another federal agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to force employees to choose between their jobs and the vaccine. The CMS vaccine mandate case was also heard by the Supreme Court but was sent back to the District Court for additional arguments, prompting the Attorney General to join the lawsuit.

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