In a press conference Monday afternoon, Governor Hochul confirmed that she would sign an executive order giving her the emergency power to deploy the National Guard to cover staffing shortages caused by the midnight deadline for anyone who remains unvaccinated in violation of her state's Wuhan coronavirus vaccine mandate.
"I will be signing an executive order to give me the emergency powers necessary to address these shortages where they occur," Hochul declared. "That's going to allow me to deploy the National Guard who are medically trained, deploy people who've been retired who may have had a license lapse, [and] bring in people from elsewhere," Hochul explained.
"We'll be nation-leading with our mandate which strikes at midnight tonight when everyone is expected in a hospital in the state of New York — or a healthcare facility — to have been vaccinated," Hochul said proudly while wearing a necklace that says "vaxed."
BREAKING: New York Governor Kathy Hochul says she will deploy medically trained National Guard troops to replace unvaccinated healthcare workers in hospitals, who will be fired tonight. pic.twitter.com/79Vr8ZUefd— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 27, 2021
"That is not my first position though, my friends — my desire is to have the people who've been out there continue to work in their jobs, work in them safely. And to all the other healthcare workers who are vaccinated, they also deserve to know that the people they're working with will not get them sick," said Hochul.
"It's fundamentally unfair," said Hochul of the fact that some New Yorkers who work in healthcare haven't gotten vaccinated. "It doesn't have to be this way," she added, saying "there are not legitimate religious exemptions" and her having to call in the National Guard to cover for the healthcare workers fired under her mandate "is so unnecessary."
The governor's office, in recent days, has cited that "some 16% of the state's 450,000 hospital staff" are still not fully vaccinated, according to Reuters, meaning around 72,000 people will no longer be eligible to work as of midnight Monday. Hochul did say in her eleventh-hour pitch that she was hearing stories of healthcare workers scrambling to get vaccinated before the deadline.
Speaking of legal challenges to New York's mandate Hochul said she feels "very confident about our chances in court" and cited a Supreme Court ruling that "communities have a right to self-defense."
"We have a right to defend our people against a global pandemic," Hochul added, "and we're entitled to take all means necessary to do that."
All necessary means, apparently, includes creating an artificial hospital staff shortage amid a global pandemic.
As Leah reported earlier Monday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) was working on plans to replace unvaccinated healthcare workers who would no longer be able to work under the state's vaccine mandate including working with the Biden administration to expedite visa applications for vaccinated healthcare workers.
Hochul said earlier that "we are still in a battle against COVID to protect our loved ones, and we need to fight with every tool at our disposal." One of those tools, apparently, is for Hochul to take the ability to work away from any state hospital or healthcare worker who is unvaccinated and grant herself the emergency power to deploy the National Guard to fill the vacancies her state's mandate created.