TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblymen John DiMaio and Kevin Rooney have condemned Gov. Phil Murphy’s most recent decree to some workers: Get vaccinated or get fired.
The governor’s latest executive order 283 issued Jan. 11 mandates that health care workers, corrections officers and others in “high-risk congregate settings” receive their first mRNA shot by Jan. 27 and be up to date with the shots by Feb. 28. His order removes the testing option for these employees.
“The executive order reads like magical thinking, and that’s being charitable,” Rooney (R-Bergen) said. “At this point, the governor is either willfully ignorant or outright deceptive when it comes to the efficacy and safety of these shots. They do not protect against transmission. They may help prevent hospitalization and death, but only for some high-risk populations. It may be harmful for people who have recovered from Covid to get the shot, all of which are still in clinical trials. He has an obligation to take these things into consideration for the people of New Jersey and has failed.”
President Joe Biden’s administration announced in November 2021 that any health care facility that receives Medicare and Medicaid funding must have staff fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Twenty-four states filed suit, with the issue being heard in front of the Supreme Court in early January. The court ruled 5-4 to keep the mandate.
The mandate is likely to exacerbate New Jersey’s health care worker shortage, DiMaio (R-Warren) added. Many have chosen to retire or move to states that have protected workers’ rights to decide their own medical care.
“It’s a gross overreach for the government to mandate this one-size-fits-all policy, and even more offensive that the governor is demanding people choose between taking medical technology they don’t want or need, and their jobs,” said DiMaio. “Many people are still trying to recover from his pandemic lockdown policies.”