(Trends Wide) — A federal judge said this weekend that she would not block the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate for healthcare workers while a lawsuit in Florida that challenges the mandate proceeds.
In her decision to deny Florida’s request for a preliminary order blocking the mandate for health care workers, District Judge Casey Rodgers said Florida had not shown “that irreparable injury will occur” if the court did not block the mandate. before it goes into effect next month.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has been a prominent opponent of President Joe Biden’s efforts to demand vaccines. The state is involved in other lawsuits that challenge the Biden administration’s mandate for federal contractors, as well as vaccination rules issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. At DeSantis’s urging, Florida’s GOP-controlled legislature also passed bills last week that would impose fines on businesses that require vaccines as a condition of employment.
“Affidavits in support of the motion include statements of how various agencies and institutions anticipate that they may be adversely affected by the mandate,” the George W. Bush-appointed judge wrote in an order issued Saturday.
“In particular, the affidavits express the views of agency heads who ‘estimate’ that they ‘may’ lose a certain percentage or number of employees, or speculate about the consequences they will suffer ‘if widespread resignations occur,'” Rodgers wrote. “However, such opinions, in the absence of supporting factual evidence, remain speculative and can be dismissed as conclusive.”
The Biden administration’s policy for healthcare workers, which is being implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services, requires healthcare workers from certain providers participating in Medicaid and Medicare to be vaccinated against COVID-19. , with the deadline for the first dose on December 6.
Florida filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Florida challenging the policy earlier this month and had asked the court to block the rule while the lawsuit proceeded. In its filings, the state claimed that Florida health care facilities were at risk of losing federal funding or seeing staff shortages due to employees’ refusal to get vaccinated.
In at least two other cases brought by other states, the courts are considering issuing preliminary orders blocking the mandate.
– Trends Wide’s Steve Contorno contributed to this report.