Joel Landau, Owner Of Nearly 400 Nursing Homes, Tells 70,000 Employees To Get Vaccine Or Lose Your Job


The U.S. nursing home industry’s resistance to forcing workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for fear that too many of them might quit began to crack this week when its biggest player announced its employees must get the shot to keep their jobs.

The new requirement at Genesis Healthcare, which has 70,000 employees at nearly 400 nursing homes and senior communities, is the clearest sign yet that owners may be willing to risk an exodus at already dangerously understaffed facilities to quickly vaccinate the 40% of workers still resisting shots and fend off the surging delta variant.

Some experts are calling for mandatory vaccinations at nursing homes, warning that unprotected staff members are endangering residents. Even residents who have been inoculated are vulnerable because many are elderly and frail, with weak immune systems.

More than 1,250 nursing home residents across the U.S. were infected with COVID-19 in the week ending July 25, double the number from the week earlier, and 202 died, according to federal data.

“It’s so easy now to say, ’Well, Genesis is doing it. Now we’ll do it,’” said Brian Lee, who leads Families for Better Care, an advocacy group for long-term care residents. “This is a big domino to fall.”

Lawrence Gostin, a professor of health law at Georgetown University, said he likewise foresees a “snowball effect.” He said resisting vaccination mandates at this point is “unconscionable.”

Some local governments are taking the decision out of the industry’s hands, with Massachusetts and Denver announcing mandatory vaccinations at nursing homes this week.

The question has become more urgent as the highly contagious delta variant drives up new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. to about 90,000 a day on average — the most since mid-February — and sends hospitalizations surging in states like Florida and Louisiana to the highest levels since the pandemic began.

Despite the terrible toll taken by the disease at nursing homes, many of the nation’s 15,000 such institutions have rejected mandatory vaccinations for fear large numbers of workers will leave in protest. Nearly a quarter of nursing homes are already short of nurses or nurse’s aides.

But Associated Press interviews this past week with managers at 10 mostly smaller nursing home operations across the nation that are requiring vaccines found that the threat of workers quitting en masse over the shots may be overblown.

After Canterbury Court in Atlanta announced a mandate in January, CEO Debi McNeil was so fearful of a “massive walkout” that she brought in medical experts to talk to workers, met with holdouts one-on-one and invited staff to gather in the community room for meetings that occasionally got heated.

In the end, only 10 of 180 workers quit, and McNeil said Canterbury’s nursing home, independent living and assisted living facilities have reported no new COVID-19 cases since February.

“It was a gamble that paid off for us,” McNeil said. “I thought more people would have mandated it by now.”

At Jewish Home Family in Rockleigh, New Jersey, only five of 527 workers at its nursing home and assisted-living facilities quit. Westminster Village in Bloomington, Illinois, lost only two out of 250.

“It’s important to educate, but at some point we have to end this pandemic,” said Scott Crabtree, CEO of Lambeth House in New Orleans, which lost only 10 of 200 workers after it started requiring shots when they became available last year. “When do we say, ‘Enough is enough?’″

More than 130,000 nursing home residents in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, making such institutions by far the deadliest place to be during the pandemic. About 80% of residents have been vaccinated, double the rate for staff, according to the government.

Some workers have rejected the vaccine because they think it was rushed into development and is unsafe, or they feel protected because they already got COVID-19.

“It’s too soon to put that crap in my body,” said Christina Chiger, a nurse’s aide at a nursing home in Tampa, Florida. “It took how many years to perfect the polio vaccine? This was done in months.”

Others have been swayed by false rumors that the vaccine was made from dead babies or contains microchips or will make you infertile. That last notion concerned Michaela Murray, a nurse’s aide at an Alabama nursing home that made vaccinations mandatory.

“I was kind of worried, but I talked to the doctors and they put my mind at ease,” said Murray, who agreed to get a vaccine to keep her job at Hanceville Nursing & Rehab Center, which had only six of 260 workers quit. “I had had COVID and didn’t want to go through that again.”

Pennsylvania-based Genesis said volunteer vaccinations were appropriate earlier in the pandemic, but not now, as the more infectious variant spreads and only 65% of its staff has received shots. Genesis is giving employees until Aug. 23 to get their first shot.

“To succeed against the delta variant is going to require much higher vaccination rates,” said Chief Medical Officer Richard Feifer. “Our tactics in the fight have to change.”

Jennifer Moore of Hollywood, Florida, whose husband is living at a nursing home where only 35% of the staff is vaccinated, said it’s also a matter of ethics.

“Whenever I see a story about somebody being anti-vax, I just want to scream,” said Moore, whose husband, Thomas, has Parkinson’s disease. “I understand people have concerns about the vaccine, but these people are working with the most vulnerable population. They have a duty to their patients.”



  1. Imagine 40 of his staff resist… That’s Dr’s and nurses!
    But… For the kick back and grant he’s getting I maybe would also do it…

  2. “I can tell you, as a doctor and this is my book of business. I’m in my fourth decade of doing this, I can tell you, this program should have been shut down in February, based on safety…Stew, it’s going to go down as the most dangerous biologic medicinal product roll-out in human history…”

    Dr Peter McCullough MD is a Professor at Texas A & M College of Medicine, President, Cardiorenal Society of America, Editor-in-Chief, Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine, Senior Associate Editor, American Journal of Cardiology and others. He has written 46 peer-reviewed publications on COVID-19 and is considered among the world’s experts on the topic.

  3. Good move but the lower-end hourly workers may push back because they fear that they will lose time at work and thus lose pay. He should give them time off with pay to get a vaccinated and the following day off again with pay to recover from any possible side-effects.

  4. It’s all just publicity
    Vaccinated people are getting Covid like crazy
    And many don’t think they have it they’re walking around spewing Covid on everyone
    How will that keep nursing home residents safe?

  5. Your post list him as being affiliated with Genesis Healthcare
    His company is not called Genesis. Please update with the correct name. Genesis is a public company who’s ceo is named Harry Wilson

  6. Genesis healthcare is a publicly traded company that operates nursing homes however I do not see how the name Joel Landau is connected in any way to this company as he had no official c position.

  7. Now that we know vaccinated individuals transmit desease, get sick, and put themselves at risk of many serious side effects,, we really need an extra incentive to get people to take them

  8. Landau’s company is the Alure Group which specializes in buyouts and “turnarounds” of financially troubled nursing homes. They may have worked with Genesis on some transactions but the two are totally separate legal entities and are not affiliated. However, with respect to mandating Covid vaccines for front line workers and caregivers in contact with nursing home residents, they are entirely within their legal rights. Several cases have been litigated (Houston Methodist et. al) at the federalDistrict Court level as well as state courts upholding the firing of workers who refused to be vaccinated. The first appellate court hearing will likely be argued next month in the Fifth Circuit.

  9. @laptop In April 2021 He essentially became the owner.

    Not trying to rain on his parade, but with a glimpse at his history, he’s doing this to “get in favor” with the politicians – potentially to help leverage the next big thing 😉

  10. ujm : He legally cannot fire anyone for not taking the vaccine.

    That is completely false. Where did you even get such an idea? He can fire people for any reason he likes, so long as they don’t have a contract that says otherwise, or for reasons specifically prohibited by law, such as their race, sex, religion, etc. There is no law that prevents their firing for not being vaccinated.

  11. What is this nonsense about Landau owning 400 nursing homes? He runs the Allure Group, which operates six nursing homes, not 400! The story is about Genesis; what has Landau got to do with it?

  12. Why is this Chilul Hashem in the headline in an AP article.
    Genesis HealthCare and its 350 facilities are now in the hands of a documented serial liar with a history of conning his way into nursing home takeovers, then evicting the patients and flipping the real estate to luxury condo developers. His name is Joel Landau, and he pulled off exactly this feat with a nursing home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2016, walking away with a $72 million profit after orchestrating an improbably elaborate campaign to convince a battalion of city and state officials that lifting a deed restriction that required the property to house a public health care facility was the only way to preserve the building as a public health care facility.

    The Rivington House scandal, which captivated the New York media for symbolizing the emptiness of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s populist pledges to reclaim the city for the 99 percent, was part of a broader pattern for Landau, who has been perpetually sued across multiple industries in the service of flagrant frauds. Whatever his intentions for the Genesis homes, it’s safe to say they can’t be good.

  13. Landau and The Allure Group purchased Rivington House, a non-performing and nearly vacant AIDS/HIV specialty nursing home located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for $28 million.[5] The deed to the sale included a covenant that prevented the property from being developed like many of the buildings in the same district, stating that the building had to be used for non-profit residential health care.[6] Despite this, the restriction was removed by the city of New York, which allowed Landau to sell the property for $116 million to developers in 2017.[5][7][8] The sale was approved despite Landau owing $6 million in back taxes to the city.[9] The transaction was approved by New York City Deputy Mayor, Tony Shorris without the knowledge of Mayor Bill de Blasio.[10] After it was determined that plans for Rivington’s redevelopment into luxury housing were developed before the sale had closed, an investigation was commenced by the New York Attorneys General.[10] In 2018, Landau agreed to pay $2 million in penalties