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Federal Judge Blocks Vaccine Mandate For Health Care Workers In 10 States

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A federal judge placed a halt on President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Monday, calling the requirement a “politically and economically vast, federalism-altering, and boundary-pushing mandate.”

“The scale falls clearly in favor of healthcare facilities operating with some unvaccinated employees, staff, trainees, students, volunteers and contractors, rather than the swift, irremediable impact of requiring healthcare facilities to choose between two undesirable choices — providing substandard care or providing no healthcare at all,” U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp wrote in a 32-page order.

Schelp said in his ruling that the states who sued the Biden administration were “likely to succeed” in their argument that Congress had not granted the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the authority to create the mandate.

“CMS seeks to overtake an area of traditional state authority by imposing an unprecedented demand to federally dictate the private medical decisions of millions of Americans,” Schelp wrote. “Such action challenges traditional notions of federalism.”

The New York Post explained, the “requirement would have affected more than 17 million workers in about 76,000 health care facilities and home health care providers. Under the rule, announced Nov. 4, those affected would have to get their first dose of a vaccine by Dec. 6 and their second shot by Jan. 4.”

“A previous ruling against the Biden administration temporarily blocked a rule that private businesses with more than 100 employees require workers to be vaccinated or face weekly testing,” the Post added.

As a result of the order, the Biden mandate is now halted in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

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COVID-19

Freedom in the UK: Johnson ends ‘all Covid measures’ including mask wearing

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The United Kingdom is enjoying a huge announcement. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced “the end of all Covid measures introduced to combat the Omicron variant – compulsory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, guidance to work from home and vaccine certificates – from next week” reports The Guardian.

For those with coronavirus, the legal requirement for them to self-isolate will also be allowed to lapse when the regulations expire on March 24. Johnson also announced an immediate end for students to wear masks at secondary schools.

“From tomorrow we will no longer require face masks in classrooms and the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas,” Johnson told the Commons.

“In the country at large we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, but we will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one.”

The Prime Minister said Covid data was “showing that time and again this government got the toughest decisions right” and that plan B rules that were put in place in December could all be lifted from next Thursday, the day after a pre-existing review point.

The Guardian notes Britain had expected Johnson would soon be ending work-from-home guidance and the mandate to show a certificate proving vaccination or proof of a recent negative Covid test. However, the immediate lifting of mandatory mask rules will “come as a surprise to some.”

Johnson is receiving some push back from some teaching and health unions. The general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said ministers would “regret sending the wrong signal to the public for political expediency”.

Joint general secretary of the National Education Union Mary Bousted said, “While the trend amongst secondary aged children is down, it is however uncertain, due to the short time schools have been back since the Christmas holidays, that this trend will continue. Such uncertainty could lead to a pronounced risk of increased disruption with children and staff having to isolate.”

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