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Tipsheet

Virginia AG Joins Lawsuit Against Biden's Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced Friday that the Commonwealth would join other states suing the Biden administration over its vaccine mandate on healthcare workers — keeping another promise made on the campaign trail — seeking to overturn the requirement that staff in facilities receiving federal funds via Medicare and Medicaid be vaccinated as resulting labor shortages continue to strip hospitals of critical staff. 

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The basis for Attorney General Miyares is simple: "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)," and "forcing Virginians to choose between their job and the vaccine exceeds the power of the federal government," explains a release from Miyares office:

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.

Miyares joins the Attorneys General of Louisiana, Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia in the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, its secretary Xavier Becerra, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and its administrator Chiquita Brooks-Lasure. 

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Friday's complaint comes after Miyares and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced plans on January 7th to challenge the Biden administration's CMS vaccine mandate. "Instead of supporting state and local governments' efforts to protect the lives and livelihoods of their citizens, the Biden administration has resorted to unlawful vaccine mandates that force hardworking Virginians to walk away from their paychecks," Youngkin and Miyares said at the time. "President Biden's CMS mandate, ignores the hospital systems' long-established policies designed to keep staff and patients safe and threatens the tenure of essential medical personnel at a time when staffing shortages threaten the health and safety of Virginians."

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