September 14, 2021
From Senator George Borrello:
“It is encouraging that a federal judge has temporarily blocked the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers in response to a legal challenge claiming violation of Constitutional religious rights.
This is a positive step that I hope is the impetus for the state to withdraw the mandate altogether. Whether the objections are religious, medical or personal, no one should be forced to take a vaccine against their will. The right path to vaccination is by building consensus and confidence, not through coercion, shaming and threats of termination.
As I stated in my letter to Governor Hochul and Commissioner Zucker, the practical effects of these mandates will be devastating to health care facilities, particularly in rural areas like ours. Understaffing has been an ongoing issue and a mandate like this one will only encourage more people to leave the health care sector. In our region, we are already seeing health care workers quit their jobs in opposition to the mandate.
I urge the Governor and Commissioner to reverse course immediately before irreversible harm is done to our vital health care facilities and our individual liberties.”