Medical Center Hospital (MCH) in Odessa has issued a press release regarding the vaccine mandate ordered late Thursday by the Biden Administration – describing the “dire financial situation” the mandate will cause the hospital if they refuse to comply by cutting off Medicare and Medicaid funding, and also describing an “unimaginable” situation the hospital will be placed in if staff who refuse the vaccine are forced to leave.

Included in the press release was a letter by hospital CEO Russell Tippin to all hospital employees.

Tippin described the terrible predicament the mandate was putting the hospital in, saying that if implemented, the mandate could impact up to forty percent of their staff at a time when the hospital is already stretched thin and cannot afford to lose any more staff. 

“We understand that this mandate would affect roughly 40-percent of our employees, and if forced upon us, we know that we would inevitably lose a valuable portion of our staff – a loss that would be unimaginable in our current shorthanded situation,” Tippin wrote.  

In the letter, Tippin urged hospital staff who may be impacted by the mandate to bear with them as a decision has yet to be made by the Board of Directors on how to proceed and pointed out there would undoubtedly be legal challenges to the mandate. 

“During this uncertain time, we are asking you – the very people that make this hospital function on a daily basis – to remain calm and unwavering.”

The hospital is presently consulting with legal counsel on how to proceed and what options and rights are available. 

Tippin emphasized how important the hospital’s staff was to the institution and praised the hard work and sacrifices they have made over the past 18 months in caring for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are already in the process of consulting with legal experts, as well as local, state, and federal agencies to determine our rights and abilities under this federal mandate,” Tippin wrote. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement on social media blasting the Biden Administration over the mandate and stated he will be suing the federal government very soon. 

“Biden’s new national vaccination mandate on private businesses may be the most unconstitutional, illegal thing I’ve ever seen out of any Administration in modern American history. This is an egregious, tyrannical power grab that stands no chance in court. I’ll be suing this disastrous Admin very soon,” Paxton’s statement read. 

Odessa Headlines spoke with MCH Board of Directors Trustee Kathy Rhodes who stated she opposed the mandate and will be defending the right of the hospital’s staff to choose, when the hospital decides on how to proceed.

“Biden truly doesn’t understand the magnitude of harm his actions will cause by putting the medical community in this terrible predicament,” Rhodes said, continuing further stating, “[w]e are grasping to keep staffing as is. I will fight tooth and nail for the rights of our hospital’s administrative and medical staff.”

A full copy of Tippin’s letter can be view below.

Matt Stringer is a journalist from Odessa, Texas.