US Fact check: False claim unvaccinated FEMA workers can replace fired health care staff
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The claim: Unvaccinated FEMA employees can replace health care workers fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine
When COVID-19 vaccines were., front-line health care workers were for the shot. Since then, most nurses and doctors have been , but some for refusing to comply with mandates.
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Some social media users are claiming noncompliant medical professionals are being replaced by unvaccinated Federal Emergency Management Agency employees.
“BREAKING: The FEMA healthcare workers replacing the noncompliant nurses and doctors are NOT required to get vaccinated via CDC,” reads a screenshot of a tweet that wason Oct. 18. The generated more than 5,000 retweets in less than a week.
Other versions of the claim have made their way to, , and . The posts echo about unvaccinated National Guard members replacing nurses in New York, which USA TODAY debunked.
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These posts are inaccurate, too. Theyby independent .
USA TODAY reached out to social media users who shared the claim for comment.
FEMA employees required to be vaccinated
This claim is wrong on multiple counts.
In early September, President Joe Bidenrequiring federal employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 . The order applies to FEMA workers.
The agency is also not sending its employees to replace unvaccinated health care workers, according to FEMA spokeswoman Jaclyn Rothenberg.
"FEMA employees are required to be vaccinated as determined by the president," Rothenberg told USA TODAY. “The social media posts that claim FEMA workers are replacing unvaccinated health care workers are unequivocally false.”
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She added that,, FEMA has deployed medical staff at the request of states to relieve pressure on local health care systems.
This isn't the first time social media users have falsely claimed replacement workers for terminated medical professionals do not have to follow vaccine requirements.
When New York Gov.she would call on medically trained members of the National Guard to address staffing shortages, some asserted nurses fired for refusing a COVID-19 shot could be replaced by unvaccinated Guard members. USA TODAY .
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that unvaccinated FEMA employees can replace health care workers fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. FEMA says its workers are not being deployed to replace noncompliant nurses and doctors. Additionally, employees with the agency are required to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 under Biden's executive order.
Emergency managers face a chaotic and uncertain future
From wildfires in the west to hurricanes in the east, and myriad public health crises in between, a new era of continuous disasters is transforming the role of the nation's emergency managers, and forcing them to step up collaboration and vigilance to confront an ever more chaotic future."We've seen this enormous shift from disasters being an episodic number of acute events on a regular cycle, with a mega event every three to four years," to"We've seen this enormous shift from disasters being an episodic number of acute events on a regular cycle, with a mega event every three to four years," to major events now "happening every year, multiple times per year," said Trevor Riggen, head of disaster response for the Amer
Our fact-check sources:
- Jaclyn Rothenberg, Oct. 21, Phone interview with USA TODAY
- Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, Sept. 13,
- The White House, Sept. 9,
- Federal Emergency Management Agency, accessed Oct. 22,
- Gov. Kathy Hochul, Sept. 25,
- USA TODAY, Oct. 20,
- Associated Press, Oct. 20,
- PolitiFact, Oct. 18,
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
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