by Bethany Blankley
Federal workers with naturally acquired immunity to COVID-19 filed a class-action lawsuit Monday against the federal government over the Biden administration’s mandate that all federal workers be vaccinated against it as a condition of employment. The mandate doesn’t allow for exemptions for religious or other reasons, including having natural immunity.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil liberties group, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation on behalf of 11 individuals.
Those named in the lawsuit include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief COVID Response Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and over 20 officials including cabinet heads, as well as several task forces and several federal agencies. They include the U.S. surgeon general, director of CDC and OPM, the secretaries of the departments of Veteran’s Affairs, FEMA, FPS, OMB, Secret Service, USGA, among others.
The plaintiffs argue the federal employee vaccine mandate violates federal employees’ constitutional and statutory rights, including their right to body integrity, to decline medical treatment, and to informed consent.
Those suing are federal employees who have acquired natural immunity after contracting COVID-19 and survived. They work for the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture and U.S. Secret Service.
The executive order issued by Biden in September states, “it is necessary to require COVID-19 vaccination for all Federal employees” to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The mandate requires federal employees to receive the vaccine even though it does not stop the spread of the coronavirus and natural immunity has proven to be more effective, the plaintiffs argue in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs’ level of antibodies demonstrates sufficient natural immunity to protect them, their co-workers and others as well or better than experimental COVID shots, they argue.
“The rational goal of any vaccine policy is to foster immunity,” John Vecchione, senior litigation counsel at NCLA, said. “Vaccinating the already immune on pain of unemployment is as arbitrary and capricious an agency action as can be imagined. If your federal employer can do this, what other medical procedures can they impose on federal workers for zero health benefit just because they want to? Can they impose liposuction for the overweight or take spare kidneys for other workers in need?”
The federal government doesn’t consider employees fully vaccinated until two weeks after receiving a single-shot series or the second dose of a two-shot series. However, this could change in light of the push by the federal government for the fully vaccinated to receive a third booster shot, or additional booster shots.
The deadline to receive the two full doses was Monday, Nov. 8. Those who didn’t comply by the deadline face potential disciplinary action, including termination of employment.
Several health experts attest that it’s medically unnecessary for those with natural immunity to receive the vaccines. Because the federal government cannot establish a compelling governmental interest to override the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights and personal autonomy, their attorneys argue, they should not be forced to take them.
Additionally, the vaccine mandate violates the federal law that establishes access to the vaccine to begin with: Emergency Use Authorization. The statute allows the federal government through a presidential executive order issuing a state of emergency to then allow other federal medically-related agencies to authorize drugs that have not yet received full FDA approval solely on a voluntary basis. The statute specifically states that individuals may refuse administration of an EUA drug and that they must receive informed consent. The administration and the task force are violating federal law by making a voluntary drug mandatory, the plaintiffs argue.
“Our lawsuit seeks to vindicate our Clients’ constitutional rights to bodily integrity, informed consent, and to remain free of unnecessary and unwanted medical treatment. Under no circumstances should the federal government command Americans to undertake a medical treatment they don’t want,” Robert Henneke, TPPF general counsel, said.
The plaintiffs have asked the court to grant temporary and permanent injunctive relief as well as a declaratory judgment.
A federal court in New Orleans on Saturday granted a stay against the Biden administration’s private sector mandate in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas, Louisiana and several other states.
Despite Saturday’s ruling, the Biden administration says it is confident the mandate will ultimately be upheld.
– – –
Bethany Blankley contributes to The Center Square.