Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik joined Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) in sending a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul expressing concern over healthcare staffing shortages in New York due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate that remains in place. The mandate is one factor driving a staffing crisis in New York, which negatively impacts the ability of New Yorkers to access quality healthcare close to home.

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, “The evidence is clear: the staffing shortage affecting New York’s healthcare sector is a crisis and must be addressed. While long-term solutions must also be considered, it is imperative for your administration to drop its COVID-19 vaccine mandate immediately so that healthcare workers can return to serving their friends, loved ones, and neighbors. Decades of healthcare experience are being left on the sidelines or pushed into other states as a result of the mandate. This is even more noteworthy given that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Director has publicly stated that the vaccine cannot prevent transmission.” 

“Kathy Hochul must repeal her authoritarian COVID-19 mandate for healthcare workers, so Upstate New Yorkers can have the access the quality care they need. These mandates are an attack on the personal freedoms of our frontline workers and have unnecessarily exacerbated the healthcare workforce shortage at New York hospitals and healthcare centers. There should be no more reason our rural hospitals have to continue to suffer from another crisis of Kathy Hochul’s creation,” Stefanik said.

"Our essential heroes continue to be attacked and demonized by Kathy Hochul and her unconstitutional policies. Countless hospitals in Upstate New York have been forced to close wings or turn away patients due to the vaccine mandate. Vaccine mandates completely violate an individual's constitutional rights and are now negatively affecting others. It's time for Hochul to revoke her disastrous COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers across New York," Tenney said.

In March 2022, Stefanik called on Hochul to rescind the statewide vaccine mandate for essential workers.

Read the full letter here.