Court Revives Biden Vaccine Mandate

A U.S. federal appeals court on Wednesday revived in 26 states a Biden administration COVID-19 mandate requiring millions of U.S. healthcare workers to get vaccinated if they work in federally funded facilities.

In a rare win for President Joe Biden’s pandemic strategy, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that a lower court only had the authority to block the mandate in the 14 states that had sued. The appeals court ruled that the lower court was wrong to impose a nationwide injunction.

Biden’s mandate requires that healthcare facilities get staff vaccinated against the coronavirus or lose funding from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The rule initially required more than 2 million unvaccinated healthcare workers be vaccinated by Dec. 6. It was blocked before the deadline and remains temporarily blocked in 24 states — the 14 states involved in the case reviewed by the New Orleans appeals court and 10 states where the mandate was blocked by a Nov. 29 ruling from a federal judge in St. Louis.

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