Wyoming on Wednesday filed a third lawsuit aimed at stopping the federal coronavirus vaccine mandate proposed by President Joe Biden.
Gov. Mark Gordon announced that the state had joined nine others in challenging the portion of the mandate that would require vaccinations for health care workers.
“Wyoming continues to face a significant shortage of health care workers and this federal mandate will only exacerbate our health care staffing issues,” Gordon said in a statement. “This administration needs to understand that overreaching policies that force employees to choose between vaccination and termination negatively impact Wyoming communities, rural health care and residents of skilled nursing facilities.”
Biden earlier this year announced he planned to require federal employees, health care workers and workers at companies employing more than 100 people to either get the coronavirus vaccine or be tested regularly for the disease.
The mandate on health care workers will come in the form of rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Wyoming and the other states in October filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration seeking to halt the vaccine requirement for federal contractors and federally contracted employees. Earlier this month, the state joined in a second lawsuit against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration seeking to block the vaccination mandate for companies employing more than 100 people.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Missouri said the mandate could further reduce the ranks of health care workers in rural areas.
“Indeed, the circumstances in the Plaintiff States—facts that CMS, which skipped notice-and-comment rulemaking, did not fully consider—foreshadow an impending disaster in the healthcare industry,” it said. “By ignoring the facts on the ground and unreasonably dismissing concerns about workforce shortages, the CMS vaccine mandate jeopardizes the healthcare interests of rural Americans.”
The lawsuit asks the court to find the vaccine mandate as imposed by the CMS to be unconstitutional, voiding it and putting measures in place to prevent the agency from imposing any kind of vaccine mandate.
Other states involved in the lawsuit are Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota and New Hampshire.