New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday that she would deploy the National Guard to support New York healthcare facilities in the event that a worker shortage occurs after the COVID-19 vaccine mandate kicks in for all hospitals Monday night.
“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 health care facility, to have been vaccinated,” Gov. Hochul said. “I will be signing an executive order to give me the emergency powers necessary to address the shortages where they occur and that’s going to allow me to deploy the national guard, who are medically trained. Deploy people who are retired, who have had a license lapse, bring in people from elsewhere.”
“That is not my first position, though, my friends,” she continued. “My desire is to have the people who have 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.”
In August, the New York State Health Department issued the vaccine mandate order requiring all hospital workers to be fully vaccinated by September 27.
If employees of one of the state’s public hospitals are not fully vaccinated by the deadline, they will be placed on unpaid leave but will be able to return once they are inoculated against the coronavirus, according to CNN.
According to the governor’s office, around 16 percent of New York’s 450,000 healthcare workers, or about 72,000 employees, are not fully vaccinated, Reuters reported.
On Sunday, Hochul attended a church service in an effort to recruit Christians to promote the vaccine ahead of the mandate going into effect.
“I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say, we owe this to each other,” Hochul said at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, an official transcript showed.
“Jesus taught us to love one another and how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, please get the vaccine because I love you and I want you to live.”
Also on Monday, a masked President Joe Biden received his third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, a booster shot administered on camera.
When asked how many Americans need to take the COVID-19 vaccine before the United States can “get back to normal,” Biden said 97 or 98 percent.
“I think we’ll get awful close. But I’m not the scientist. I think one thing is for certain,” Biden said. “A quarter of the country can’t go unvaccinated and us not continue to have a problem.”