Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Motion to Block Health-Care Worker Vaccine Mandate Denied

Ashley Moody

 

A motion by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to block a rule by the Biden Administration that would require health-care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was denied Sunday by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The three-judge panel voted two to one to deny Moody’s proposed injunction. The two judges who voted against it – Judges Robin Rosenbaum and Jill Pryor – expressed that the state “failed to make the requisite showing for an injunction pending appeal.” Judge Barbara Lagoa supported the state’s appeal.

Moody’s motion for an injunction was first denied in the U.S. District Court by Judge M. Casey Rodgers in November. In Rodgers’ ruling, she argued against the state’s concern that health-care providers could possibly lose federal funds provided via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In addition, Rodgers was not swayed by the state’s argument that the mandate could result in health-care staff shortages.

In the judges’ 94-page opinion released by the 11th Circuit on Monday, it cites Rodgers, “‘The safety of Medicare and Medicaid patients and staff administering the program throughout this pandemic, … and the need to slow the spread of the virus, are greatly enhanced by virtue of the COVID-19 vaccine,’ —that was ‘especially compelling within the context of healthcare facilities’ and weighed heavily on the side of denying injunctive relief.”

With Rodgers’ words in mind, the opinion concluded by stating:

“Imposing an injunction to bar enforcement of the interim rule would harm the public interest in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the safety of Medicare and Medicaid patients and staff. And this interest is particularly compelling within the setting of the healthcare facilities at issue, where the population of patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid is more likely than the general population to experience severe complications if they contract COVID-19. Indeed, the last thing patients seeking medical help (and their families and friends who love them) should have to endure is the infliction of a potentially deadly virus on them by those who are supposed to be taking care of them, when it could have been prevented by their caretakers’ obtaining of an FDA approved vaccination.”

While the injunction was denied, Biden’s rule is still on hold because of a nationwide injunction that was approved by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana. However, Moody’s motion for injunction in Florida was still filed, given that the Biden Administration decided to appeal the 5th circuit’s ruling.

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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]

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