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Tue Jan 17 22:21:58 PST 2023
> More unprecedented about-face...
NY Supreme Court Strikes Down COVID Vaccine Mandate For Health Care Workers
A state Supreme Court judge in Syracuse, New York, struck down a
statewide mandate for medical staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19,
ruling that Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state’s health department
overstepped their authority.
In a landmark ruling issued on Jan. 13, state Supreme Court Judge
Gerard Neri declared the statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for
medical staff “null, void, and of no effect.”
Hochul and the state Department of Health exceeded their authority by
sidestepping the state legislature in imposing a permanent COVID-19
vaccine mandate for medical professionals, the judge wrote in the
Neri also found that the mandate was “arbitrary and capricious,”
citing evidence that COVID-19 vaccines don’t prevent the spread of the
virus, undercutting the basis for the mandate.
“In true Orwellian fashion, the Respondents acknowledge
then-current COVID-19 shots do not prevent transmission,” Neri wrote,
citing a Summary of Assessment of Public Comment that was entered as
evidence in the case.
In support of the view that the mandate was capricious, Neri also
pointed to the fact that the order, titled Prevention of COVID-19
Transmission by Covered Entities (pdf), used a loose definition for
“fully vaccinated,” namely one that was “determined by the
Neri wrote, “A term which is defined at the whim of an entity, subject
to change without a moment’s notice contains all the hallmarks of
‘absurdity’ and is no definition at all.”
The ruling came after a lawsuit was filed by Medical Professionals for
Informed Consent, a group of medical professionals who were negatively
affected by the vaccine mandate and either lost their jobs or faced
the prospect of job loss.
“This is a huge win for New York healthcare workers, who have been
deprived of their livelihoods for more than a year,” the plaintiffs’
lead attorney, Sujata Gibson, said in a statement.
“This is also a huge win for all New Yorkers, who are facing
dangerous and unprecedented healthcare worker shortages throughout New
In siding with the group, Neri stated that the state is prohibited
from mandating vaccinations outside of what’s detailed in public
“The Mandate is beyond the scope of Respondents’ authority and is
therefore null, void, and of no effect,” he wrote.
‘Critical Win’ Against Vaccine Mandates
Mary Holland, president of Children’s Health Defense, which financed
the lawsuit on behalf of Medical Professionals for Informed Consent
and several individual health care workers, hailed the decision.
“We are thrilled by this critical win against a COVID vaccine
mandate, correctly finding that any such mandate at this stage, given
current knowledge is arbitrary,” Holland said in a statement.
“We hope that this decision will continue the trend towards
lifting these dangerous and unwarranted vaccine mandates throughout
Neither Hochul’s office nor the New York State Department of Health
immediately responded to a request for comment and information on
whether they plan to appeal.
Vaccinations helped reduce transmission of the early variants of the
virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, recent studies show that the vaccines are less effective in
reducing transmission of later variants although they continue to
reduce serious illness, hospitalizations, and death.
Some experts, meanwhile, have called for the messenger RNA shots made
by Pfizer and Moderna to be withdrawn until new clinical trials can be
run showing that they’re safe and effective.
Dr. Joseph Fraiman, based in Louisiana, became one of the latest to
call for a pause in the administration of the vaccines pending new
trials. He pointed to data including a reanalysis of the original
trials that he and others conducted. They concluded that the
vaccinated were at higher risk of severe adverse events.
The fact that the Omicron variant and its subvariants are also less
virulent—leading to fewer hospitalizations and deaths—and the waning
effectiveness of the vaccines also contributes to the building
opposition to vaccinating all or portions of the population until
better data is made available.
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