State sues Biden administration over federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers

ATLANTA — The state of Georgia has filed a new lawsuit against the federal government to stop a mandate for health care workers.

Opponents say health care is the one industry that should have a vaccine mandate.

Most hospitals and health care facilities do require employees — doctors, nurses and staff — to get vaccines against things like hepatitis, measles and other diseases.

Gov. Brian Kemp told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot that he’s fine with that, but he just doesn’t want the federal government to mandate it.

Chris Smith is a Riverdale dad who admits it’s a tough call, but he thinks the federal government should be allowed to require all health care workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“When you’re dealing with the public and definitely in this time, yeah, they need to safeguard themselves and others,” Smith said.

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Elliot spoke exclusively with Kemp just hours after he announced Georgia filed a lawsuit to stop the Biden administration from requiring a vaccine for all health care workers.

“Mandates only divide people, and that’s what we’re seeing,” Kemp said.

He believes the mandate violates the Constitution and doesn’t do much good anyway.

Kemp said he does support individual hospitals and health care facilities if they want to have their own vaccine requirements but told Elliot he still really doesn’t like them.

“If private entities want to do that, I believe they have the ability to do that. I support that. I still don’t think the mandate is a good idea, but you can’t have it both ways,” Kemp said.

Gwinnett County Sen. Michelle Au is also an anesthesiologist. She told Elliot that health care facilities require employees to get other vaccines, so COVID-19 should be no different.

“I think that this vaccine has been politicized in a way other vaccines have not,” Au said.

She supports the federal mandate.

“My concern is that this focus on COVID vaccinations, that it will start to erode and corrode really our trust in other types of vaccines,” Au said.

Georgia already joined other states in suing the federal government to stop vaccine mandates for government contractors.

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