A federal judge in Missouri has blocked US President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in 10 states, saying that it would need approval from Congress – which it does not have.
US District Court Judge Matthew Schelp issued a preliminary injunction on Monday, blocking the White House’s order that all workers employed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had to be vaccinated by January 4, 2022 or face losing their jobs.
“The nature and breadth of the CMS mandate requires clear authorization from Congress—and Congress has provided none,” Schelp said, adding the injunction is warranted by the “vast economic and political significance” of the mandate.
Monday’s ruling means that Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire will not be subject to the mandate while the injunction stands. The White House has the option to appeal it before the Eighth Circuit.
There are three more lawsuits against the CMS vaccination mandate, involving more than half of US states.
The White House says 96% of federal employees are compliant with Biden’s vaccine mandate and there are no plans to extend the deadline to vaccinate or get fired. However, the attempt to impose a mandate on private businesses with 100 or more employees was blocked by
the Fifth Circuit court earlier this month.