(Natural News) President Joe Biden announced that his administration will require nursing home staff to be vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) as a condition for those nursing homes to receive federal Medicare and Medicaid funding. But nursing home operators believe this will have the opposite effect of making the staffing situation in assisted living facilities even worse.
Biden made this announcement on Wednesday, Aug. 18, during a press conference at the White House. (Related: Hawaii health care whistleblower says he has seen more people die from COVID-19 vaccines than from the virus.)
The new vaccine mandate will come into effect as early as next month. It will apply to more than 15,000 nursing home facilities and around 1.3 million workers. The vaccine mandate regulation will be issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services.
“If you visit, live or work in a nursing home, you should not be at a high risk for contracting COVID from unvaccinated employees,” said Biden.
“Vaccination rates among nursing home staff significantly train the rest of the country,” he said. “With this announcement, I’m using the power of the federal government, as a payer of healthcare costs, to ensure we reduce those risks to our most vulnerable seniors.”
The federal government has in recent weeks been pushing for regulations that will coerce the unvaccinated into getting the experimental and side effect-riddled vaccines. In just the past three weeks, Biden has forced millions of federal workers to get vaccinated or to deal with strict requirements that will make it more difficult to work for the government.
“Let’s be clear. Vaccination requirements have been around for decades,” said Biden. “Students, healthcare professionals, our troops are typically required to receive vaccines to prevent everything from polio to smallpox to measles to mumps to rubella.”
Vaccine mandate will exacerbate labor shortage in long-term care facilities
Neither Biden nor anybody else in the federal government has pointed out that a vaccine mandate for nursing home workers will cause many who are on the fence about getting the COVID-19 vaccines to leave. But nursing home operators and employees are already sounding the alarm.
Scott Stout, CEO of WLC Management Firm, which operates 11 nursing homes in southern Illinois, said he is scared of losing workers.
“I’m just a little bit scared of what this is going to do to the staffing in our buildings, where people are not pro-vaccine and are against it and then they take this mandate and will not want to continue to work in long-term care and healthcare in general,” said Stout.
Rich Abrams, CEO of the Wisconsin Health Care Association and Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living believes a mandate will drive away critically-needed staff.
“We have employees who are dug in, basically saying, ‘I am not getting vaccinated,’ and a federal mandate will unlikely change their minds,” said Abrams.
He noted that nursing homes in Wisconsin are already short on staff, and the mandate will only force more employees to move to other workplaces without vaccine mandates.
“If they exit the facilities, it’s not only going to exacerbate the labor crisis that our facilities currently face, but it’s also going to jeopardize the high quality of care that our most vulnerable and sickest residents in Wisconsin deserve,” he said.
Abrams said around 60 percent of long-term care facility staff in Wisconsin are vaccinated. He does not believe a federal mandate will affect these numbers.
James Cox, CEO of Paramount Senior Living which operates around a dozen assisted living facilities in Pennsylvania, is worried for the people that live in his facilities.
“My concern is it’s going to be catastrophic when it comes to making sure we have enough staff that want to work in these buildings caring for seniors who need to be cared for,” said Cox.
Around 40 percent of all nursing home employees in Pennsylvania have so far refused to get vaccinated. A vaccine mandate is unlikely to change their minds.
“I wouldn’t get it if it were mandated today,” said Karlie Wolfe, a licensed practical nurse.
Pete Van Runkle, executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association, said the vaccine mandate will only make Ohio’s labor shortage worse. A recent survey conducted by the association found that an average of 19 out of 120 positions are unfilled.
“People are preparing to leave now just on the word, you know, this announcement, that is coming,” he said.
Around 47 percent of staff in nursing facilities in Ohio are fully vaccinated. Van Runkle said some of the unvaccinated will be coerced into taking the vaccine, but many others won’t.” He said this will be disastrous for long-term care residents.
“They may end up with a vaccinated person taking care of them or they may end up with nobody taking care of them.”
Learn more about how Biden will make the COVID-19 situation worse with his vaccine mandates by reading the latest articles at Vaccines.news.