New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is sending a message to healthcare workers: get vaccinated against Chinese coronavirus — or be replaced.
Hochul, who has decided to stick with the state’s previously set healthcare worker vaccination deadline of September 27, praised those who have already been vaccinated and alluded ominously to others who have chosen to forego the jab, Fox News reported.
“To all the healthcare providers, doctors and nurses in particular who are vaccinated, I say thank you. Because you are keeping true to your oath,” Hochul said during a visit to Rochester Wednesday. “To those who won’t, we will be replacing people.”
“We are sending out a call statewide. There are facilities, for example in New York City, that 98% of their staff are vaccinated, they don’t have a worker shortage,” she added. “We are working closely with these hospitals to find out where we can get other individuals to come in and supplement nursing homes and other facilities.”
Hochul has called unvaccinated healthcare workers replaceable before. While visiting the Niagara power project on Tuesday she said “those who refuse, we will find replacements.”
Protestors opposed to coronavirus vaccine mandates and vaccine passports by the government rally at City Hall in New York City on August 25, 2021. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)
Before the mandate, New York healthcare workers battled the pandemic for more than a year, often without enough personal protective equipment. At one point, New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic.
Healthcare workers — before coronavirus vaccines were even available — were notably heralded as “healthcare heroes” and parades were held in their honor.
Now, New York’s healthcare worker vaccine mandate is causing staffing shortages at hospitals across the state. Earlier this month, nurses in a maternity ward at an upstate hospital resigned because of the vaccine mandate. The hospital had to stop all baby deliveries and will reportedly not resume until September 24.
Disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in August before he resigned in the wake of nearly a dozen sexual assault allegations. Hochul was his Lt. governor and took over as the state’s first female governor after he stepped down.