Albany, NY - Oct 23, 2009. NYS State Health Commisioner Dr. Richard Daines has suspended the controversial mandatory influenza immunization requirement for New York health care workers, citing a shortage of vaccine supplies as the main reason. The halt in the regulation also comes a day after popular upstate NY WGY radio personality Al Roney exposed the connection of Linda Daines, Commissioner Daines's wife, as a manager of private client services of Wall Street finance firm Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs was the largest shareholder and brokered a 2007 $15 billion sale of the vaccine giant MedImmune. Roney called upon his listeners to contact NY State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to open an investigation of a potential conflict of interest between the mandatory vaccine regulation for over 500,000 NY healthcare workers and potential profit for Goldman Sachs.
"It is absolutely a legitimate question for the NY Attorney General to consider whether Commissioner Daines should have recuse himself on this decision, considering the possible conflict of interest and the massive profits to be generated by Goldman Sachs with such a decision, whether the regulation was done for the best intentions or not" said WGY's Al Roney.
Controversy arose with the August announcement of the mandatory vaccine immunization for all NYS health care workers, the only state forcing such regulations. Rallies across the state were held by nurses against the regulation, and unions such as PEF and the NYCLU publicly renounced the decision. Two pending lawsuits challenging the authority of the Commissioner will continue to be held in court next week, with NY Supreme Court Justice McNamara imposing a temporary injunction against the mandatory regulation last week.
Source: Daily Paul