Federal workers file lawsuit over Biden vaccine mandate, citing 'evolving science,' worker rights, and existing law - Must Read Alaska
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Federal workers file lawsuit over Biden vaccine mandate, citing ‘evolving science,’ worker rights, and existing law

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A group of federal workers from several states have sued the Biden Administration over President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates for federal workers and federal contractors.

The Federal Practice Group, a Washington, D.C. law firm, filed the complaint against President Joe Biden and numerous members of his cabinet on Oct. 19.

Biden issued Executive Orders 14042 and 14043 on Sept. 9, demanding federal employees and contractors provide proof of having been vaccinated with an “unlicensed Covid-19 vaccine,” or they would face consequences in their jobs.

The lawsuit distinguishes between the vaccine that has been approved — Comirnaty — and the vaccine that is actually being used in the United States. The FDA considers them interchangeable, while others, including the plaintiffs, do not.

“On August 23, 2021, the FDA licensed a COVID-19 vaccine originally developed by BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH, a German company, to be jointly manufactured with Pfizer. The companies were authorized to market the vaccine under the name ‘COMIRNATY.’ Although co-manufactured by Pfizer, COMIRNATY is legally distinct from the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that was, and is, available in the United States; the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19, which is the only Pfizer vaccine available in the United States, remains under emergency use authorization,” the lawsuit says.

“In rushing to force COVID-19 vaccinations on the federal workforce, the President’s edicts violate longstanding statutory prohibitions against inoculations with unlicensed vaccines, as well as the individual rights of government employees and contractors under the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” the lawsuit says. “Accordingly, plaintiffs who are representative of nearly every Federal Agency respectfully request relief from this Court in the form of injunctive relief stopping this illegal and unnecessarily broad and wide-ranging program.”

The majority of the 50 federal workers who are plaintiffs work at the Department of Homeland Security. Others work at the Departments of Defense, State, Energy, Commerce, Agriculture, U.S.A.I.D., and other federal agencies.

Their lawsuit points out that vaccine mandate violates federal workers’ rights because it’s a blanket termination penalty for those who don’t comply, rather than allowing for an individual review of each employee’s case and required legal accommodations. It also is unlawful for a federal employer to demand the details of employees’ medical history.

The lawsuit says the firing of those who have a disease, like Covid-19, is prohibited by federal law because it is in the category of a disability. The lawsuit says that many employees have indeed been infected with Covid-19, have recovered, and have some level of natural immunity, citing a study from the Cleveland Clinic, which found that individuals previously infected with Covid-19 did not suffer reinfection, and that “ultimately, Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination.”

“Both the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA preclude employers from discriminating against federal employees and federal government contractors on the basis of an actual or perceived disability. The Acts further preclude employers from conducting disability-related inquiries of employees that are not shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity. 29 C.F.R. § 1630.14(c). An inquiry is determined to be job related and consistent with  business necessity when the employer has a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence that employee will pose a direct threat due to a medical condition,” the complaint says.

“The determination that an employee poses a direct threat must be based on an individualized assessment of the employee’s present ability to safely perform the essential functions of the  job,” it continues.

The lawsuit says that Biden’s order violates the” informed consent” regulations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Plaintiffs further explain that the federal Safer Federal Workforce Task Force has set a deadline of Nov. 22, for all to comply with the vaccine mandate. Employees who are on maximum telework or working remotely are not excused from this requirement. All federal employees, regardless if they have previously contracted Covid-19, are required to receive the vaccination or they will be considered “in violation of a lawful order,” and subject to discipline or termination.

But the task force permits agencies to initiate the enforcement process as soon as Nov. 9, 2021, for employees who fail to submit documentation to show that they have completed receiving required vaccination dose(s) by Nov. 8.

While the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force said that employees are permitted to request exceptions, it provides nothing further outside of an admonishment that, “All agency personnel designated to receive requests for accommodations should know how to handle requests consistent with the Federal employment nondiscrimination laws that may apply. If the employee’s request for an exception is denied, and the employee does not comply with the vaccination requirement, the agency may pursue disciplinary action, up to and including removal from Federal service,” the task force states.

The federal lawsuit also points to the evolving science of Covid.

“At the time the Executive Orders were issued, it was presumed that the unvaccinated, not the vaccinated, were the sole source of COVID-19 spread. Recent studies suggest otherwise. On September 29, 2021, a preliminary report from a study conducted by the Genome Center, University of California, Davis, stated that a review of both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals resulted in the following:

“A total of 869 samples, 500 from HYT and 369 from UeS, were included in the analysis. All analyzed samples from HYT were asymptomatic at the time of collection and 75% of the positive samples were from unvaccinated individuals (N=375). Positive samples from UeS were from both symptomatic (N=237) and asymptomatic individuals (N=132). The frequency of vaccine breakthroughs among the UeS samples (171 fully vaccinated, 198 unvaccinated) was greater than among the HYT samples reflecting the different types of populations sampled. The Delta variant was the predominant variant detected in both  populations (Supplementary Table 1).

“There were no statistically significant differences in mean [cycle threshold] Ct-values of vaccinated (UeS: 23.1; HYT: 25.5) vs. unvaccinated (UeS: 23.4; HYT: 25.4) samples. In both vaccinated and unvaccinated, there was great variation among individuals, with Ct-values of 30 in both UeS and HYT data (Fig. 1A, 1B). Similarly, no statistically significant differences were found in the mean Ct-values of asymptomatic (UeS: 24.3; HYT: 25.4) vs. symptomatic (UeS: 22.7) samples, overall or stratified by vaccine status (Fig. 1B). Similar Ct-values were also found among different age groups, between genders, and vaccine types (Supplemental Figure 1).

“In all groups, there were individuals with low Ct-values indicative of high viral loads. A total of 69 fully vaccinated individuals had Ct-values <20. Of these, 24 were asymptomatic at the time of testing.

The study went on to say that “A substantial proportion of asymptomatic, fully vaccinated individuals in our study had low Ct-values, indicative of high viral loads. Given that low Ct-values are indicative of high levels of virus, culture positivity, and increased transmission [11], our detection of low Ct-values in asymptomatic, fully vaccinated individuals is consistent with the potential for transmission from  breakthrough infections prior to any emergence of symptoms.”

The plaintiffs say this is consistent with other studies now coming to light from Massachusetts and Singapore. It also points to credible studies showing the benefit of natural immunity.

Read the lawsuit:

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • The workers lose (even if they win), the taxpayers lose. The only ones winning in this battle will be the lawyers.
    Let’s go Brandon!

  • Correct: this whole mess has turned into a giant lawyers relief act by and out of control Government that has totally lost its way on almost every level!!

  • Relying on the courts, at any level, to uphold the rights of the individual (which are the only real rights to exist) over the power of government nowadays is a fool’s errand, as from district courts to the US Supreme Court, rulings over the past couple of decades almost invariably favor the government. To call the current US ‘justice’ system a series of kangaroo courts would be unfairly insulting to kangaroos.

    • agreed

  • Suzanne, This is a bombshell court case that will hardly see the light of day in the main stream media. Thank you ever so much for your reporting. In other news, could you do a follow-up segment on 1.) The changes in monoclonal antibody shipments to the state of Alaska since Joe Biden’s announcement on 9/9/21: From The White House dot Gov, ” Tonight, I’m announcing we will increase the average pace of shipment across the country of free monoclonal antibody treatments by another 50 percent.”, and since the DHHS takeover of allotment and distribution to the individual states, 2.) Enumerate the number of late or missed shipments, 3.) Any increase or decrease over this period of allotment vs. previously sent by order/demand from local hospitals, et al. As an aside, I wonder how many hospitals have secret stashes of monoclonal kits for their staff?

    • It’s rather odd that the “supply” chain crisis and shipping issues do not effect the trial mRNA inventory. The “childrens” size with orange caps, are produced, packaged and pre distributed, the FDA is only today “debating” of the emergency use allowance. 90% of our RX are made in CCP occupied China, yet these highly profitable and aggressively marketed treatments are so available in the US?

    • The Mayor Bronson of Anchorage has set up a clinic in Tikahtnu center to get free monoclonal antibody treatment. All ya gotta do is show a positive covid test. Some friends of mine in their 70’s did this and it helped them quite a bit.

      • Is that before or after the animal worm meds. are taken?
        This infusion is for folks not hospitalized yet with severe symptoms ideally about 5 days from onset of symptoms. And not for folks with poor oxygen levels.
        Of course that animal worm medicine is good for everything, like the elixirs of old, except doesn’t substitute for a vaccine.

        • Ah yes, you are wrong once again. In the Baylor comparative study: Drugs Shown to Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 Disease: Comparative Basic and Clinical Pharmacology of Molnupiravir and Ivermectin, they found both about equally effective and that they could be used together. The only great difference was higher toxicity of Molnupiravir (and the cost).
          Oh, and just for you big jab promoters, another headline this morning: Illinois Reports 77.7% of Its Covid DEATHS Last Week Were “Vaccinated”. Illinois is about 55% vaxxed.

  • I just can’t wait to see Steve-O jump in here to present, with his typical sophistry and semantic mumbo-jumbo, his inevitable and legalistic defense of Pretendent Pototohead’s tyrannical decrees and Covidian mandates, all the while ignoring or sidestepping the real and fundamental issues at play. His kneejerk defenses of the status-quo power structure, and the entire establishment narrative on this (so-called) pandemic, are as predictable as the sunrise, if much less welcome.

    • Obsessed much?
      .
      If you want my take on an issue just ask, no need to pull a typical lefty move and attack the messenger, especially a preemptive attack.
      .
      It really seems like you ought to spend more time worrying about what it is you are saying and less about what others are saying. Do some research, inform yourself, stop attacking those you disagree with and attack what those you disagree with are saying. Harness your energy and use it in a meaningful way.
      .
      Or just keep doing what you’re doing, I’m used to having crazy internet stalkers follow me around making nonsensical comments.

  • Science is always evolving. That’s what makes it relevant and interesting.
    I could pick through this case point by point and come up with logical, supportable arguments against these claims, but it would be pointless. Facts can be debated. Beliefs are rock solid.

    • Homo Erectus, Science is based upon empirical observations, yet some have decided to eschew evidence in favor of their rock solid political beliefs. Given this fact , yes it is pointless to debate. You are free to go your own way and take the fifth or sixth immune system altering jab from Big Pharma. Some of us however have decided to follow a different path. I hope you can understand that this is the Rock Solid basis of a free society. Allowing of course for the evolution of “Political Science”…
      Let’s Go Brandon!

    • When this debate is stripped of its excess baggage it can be seen less about science and more about liberty. Science is arguable because our collective understanding of it is limited. On the other hand, the concept of liberty is more easily understood; it becomes complex only when tyrants try to limit it. However, such attempts are usually obvious. Consider the simplicity of the following inarguable phrase: LIBERTY = CHOICE.

      • Wayne Douglas Coogan, good point, the trouble is that those pushing their totalitarian measures upon society claim to rely upon the “science”. Their science isn’t based upon empirical observation but rather is merely a tool to distract the public and squelch debate about their dangerous public health mandates which essentially is to say “Don’t Question Authority”.
        Authoritarian rule is the antithesis to Liberty. Science is the offspring of Liberty.

  • Penny Johnson nailed it! A concise review of a well organized and well-researched brief. I too am interested in answers to her questions. Here’s hoping for a just and honorable outcome. (Is my naivete showing?) Thank you too for including some of the technical jargon, despite its irrelevance to many. It is meaningful to me and substantiates the arguments.

  • Yes, imagine that the vaccinated spreading the delt variant. Possibly the vax created the delta varient hence the breakthrough cases. At this point in life I am immune to the virus, I know for a fact. My natural immunity far outweighs taking a vax that will compromise this. Pay attention folks, do your research!!!!

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