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Several Hundred Google Employees Sign Manifesto Against Widened COVID Vaccine Mandate
The manifesto within Google, which has been signed by at least 600 Google employees, asks company leaders to retract the vaccine mandate and create a new one that is “inclusive of all Googlers,” arguing leadership’s decision will have outsize influence in corporate America.
It also calls on employees to “oppose the mandate as a matter of principle” and tells employees to not let the policy alter their decision if they’ve already chosen not to get the COVID vaccine.
Italy Targets Unvaccinated With Restrictions as Cases Rise
The Italian government on Wednesday decided to exclude unvaccinated people from certain activities in a bid to contain rising coronavirus infections and stave off financially crippling lockdowns just as the economy is starting to grow again.
A new government decree also made vaccinations mandatory for law enforcement, military and all school employees. Previously, vaccines were only required for healthcare workers and teachers.
Non-vaccinated people, for example, won’t be able to go to the movies or theater or eat indoors from Dec. 6-Jan. 15, or beyond that date in regions where infection and hospital rates are rising. The aim is to keep restaurants and other indoor activities open, but just to people who are vaccinated or have immunity from having had COVID-19.
Biden Administration Seeks to Reinstate Workplace COVID Vaccine Rule
The Biden administration asked a federal appeals court on Tuesday to lift a court-ordered stay on a sweeping workplace COVID-19 vaccine rule to avoid serious harm to public health, or alternatively to allow a masking-and-testing requirement.
The White House asked for the rule to be reinstated immediately, but the court set a briefing schedule that runs through Dec. 10.
After the stay was imposed, lawsuits from across the country were transferred to the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati. read more
Shortage of Vaccinated Nurses Prompts Closure of ER on Long Island
Mount Sinai’s Long Beach Emergency Department temporarily closed its doors on Monday because of a nurse staffing shortage as a result of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, the hospital said.
Healthcare workers who were working on a temporary religious exemption and did not show proof of vaccination by Monday were suspended.
U.S. to Require Vaccines for All Border Crossers in January
President Joe Biden will require essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning on Jan. 22, the administration planned to announce.
The rules pertain to non-U.S. nationals. American citizens and permanent residents may still enter the U.S. regardless of their vaccination status, but face additional testing hurdles because officials believe they more easily contract and spread COVID-19 and in order to encourage them to get a shot.
NYC Mayor De Blasio Urges Gov. Hochul to Mandate COVID Vaccine for MTA Workers: ‘It’s Time to Do It’
Mayor de Blasio urged Governor Hochul on Tuesday to mandate coronavirus shots for MTA employees as nearly one-third of the transit agency’s workforce remains unvaccinated despite signs that infections are ticking back up statewide.
The vaccination rate was, as of last week, just 69.5% for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has allowed its workers to submit to weekly tests as an alternative to getting immunized.
Austria’s Plan to Make COVID Vaccines Compulsory Is Dividing Citizens — and Experts
Grappling with Europe’s punishing fourth wave of COVID-19, Austria’s government took bold steps to combat the spread of the disease on Friday — not merely sending the country back into lockdown for three weeks, but also announcing the first national COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the western world.
Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg says the mandate, due to enter into force on Feb. 1, is needed to boost a stagnant vaccination campaign.
But the plan drew instant outrage. Some 40,000 people protested the governments’ new measures in Vienna on Saturday, joining a spate of marches across western European cities against recently reimposed COVID containment measures.
Entertainment Industry Pushes Back Against COVID Vaccine Mandates
“Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate,” actor Steve Burton posted on Instagram.
This represents the latest in a string of pushbacks from a minority in the entertainment industry who are going against Hollywood’s COVID mandates.
Kansas Financially Protecting Workers Who Refuse COVID Shots
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday brushed aside complaints from fellow Democrats about signing a Republican measure aimed at financially protecting workers who refuse to get COVID-19 vaccines by declaring, “leadership means seeking compromise.”
Kelly acted with unusual speed, signing the bill the afternoon after its passage by the GOP-controlled Legislature just before midnight Monday during a one-day special session.
Apple Sues Israeli Spyware Group NSO
Apple is suing NSO Group Technologies, the Israeli military-grade spyware manufacturer that created surveillance software used to target the mobile phones of journalists, political dissidents and human rights activists, to block it from using Apple products.
The iPhone maker’s lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in federal court in California, alleged that NSO, the largest known Israeli cyber warfare company, had spied on and targeted Apple users. It is seeking damages as well as an order stopping NSO from using any Apple software, device or services.
Detroit Automakers Ask Union Workers to Submit COVID Vaccination Status
The Detroit automakers are asking their roughly 153,000 plant employees represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to voluntarily submit their COVID-19 vaccination status.
The voluntary submission process is a step below Ford and GM requiring non-union salaried employees to submit their vaccination status.
The UAW has encouraged members to get vaccinated, but it has not been supportive of making vaccines mandatory for workers.
Judge in Florida Lawsuit Won’t Delay COVID Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers
A federal judge has rejected Florida’s request to immediately block a Biden administration requirement that workers at hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare providers be vaccinated against COVID-19.
U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers issued an order Saturday denying a motion by Attorney General Ashley Moody for a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order against the federal rule.
Moody’s office filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the rule and seeking the delay before the vaccination requirement takes effect Dec. 6.
Missouri Judge Says COVID Public Health Orders Illegal and Must Be Lifted
In a case involving a St. Louis County restaurant owner, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green said all health orders related to the spread of COVID-19 in the state should be lifted because they violate the state constitution’s separation of powers clause affecting the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
The lawsuit, filed in 2020 amid controversial shutdowns in St. Louis, challenged whether regulations issued by state health officials unconstitutionally authorized local medical directors to issue rules, such as quarantines and business closures to address concerns about the spread of the deadly disease.