Vaccine mandate vs. religious freedom battles ramp up with federal contractors, Coast Guard



While President Joe Biden has publicly stated that the Covid-19 pandemic is over, the battle over federal vaccine mandates is ramping up for federal contractors and members of the U.S. Coast Guard. 

In September 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to comply with federal Covid-19 guidance. In November 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, which determines the scope of that guidance, announced the Covid-19 vaccination requirement. It included contractors.

That measure was quickly challenged in court by trade groups and several states, and in December 2021, a federal district court issued an injunction blocking the new vaccine mandate.

In August of this 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the previous court’s injunction should only apply to those states and groups that filed suit.

“The Eleventh Circuit’s decision narrowing the district court’s injunction will take effect when that court issues its mandate, which is scheduled to occur on October 18,” the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force said on its website. “In addition, several other Federal district courts have issued injunctions affecting certain states and contractors and subcontractors within those states. Those injunctions remain in effect.”

The task force said it will begin working on how the mandate will be implemented going forward, but said as of now agencies should not begin enforcing the mandate. 

“Following the issuance by OMB of the initial notification to agencies, the Task Force intends to update its guidance regarding COVID-19 safety protocols for covered contractor and subcontractor workplace locations,” the task force said. “The Task Force will include in its updated guidance a timeline for implementation by contractors and subcontractors. The Director of OMB will also review the updated Task Force guidance and make a determination regarding whether the new guidance promotes economy and efficiency in Federal contracting.”

The Biden Administration extended the declaration of the pandemic public health emergency status through Jan. 11, 2023.

Those mandates and the declaration have come under further criticism since Biden said on “60 Minutes” in September that “the pandemic is over.”

Why did Joe Biden extend his emergency pandemic powers if he said the pandemic is over?” U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote on Twitter.

Federal vaccine mandates have also been a contentious issue in the military where servicemembers have been discharged for refusing vaccination. Those discharges have been met with legal pushback, though.

Republican minority members of the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday, alleging the Coast Guard has been denying religious exemption applications for the vaccine wholesale without a fair evaluation of individual requests.

“Religious freedom is protected by the U.S. Constitution and federal law. Despite these protections, information received by Committee Republicans indicates that the adjudication process for exemption applications was a pro forma exercise designed to reach predetermined conclusions – to deny requests and appeals – in nearly every single case,” the letter said. “The USCG even created a digital tool to assist in more efficiently denying appeals of the vaccine mandate instead of focusing on the merits of each individual case. Regardless of the ultimate decision to approve or deny these requests, the USCG and the other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces must afford members the opportunity to have their religious accommodations claim heard on the merits along with the right to appeal an adverse decision.”

Casey Harper is a Senior Reporter for the Washington, D.C. Bureau of The Center Square, a conservative news service partner of Must Read Alaska. He previously worked for The Daily Caller, The Hill, and Sinclair Broadcast Group. A graduate of Hillsdale College, Casey’s work has also appeared in Fox News, Fox Business, and USA Today.


  1. I can’t believe we’re still dealing with this nonsense. The vaccines do nothing. People of any age who take care of themselves, eat right and stay in shape, are fine. This describes most of our military and contractors. Biden himself has had it what..2 or 3 times and he’s vaxxed and boosted (or so we’re told).

  2. Why must they keep pressing the Vax? Don’t they see how faulty it is and the amount of people that have and are dropping dead from clots?? All ages are getting blood clots from the covid vaccine, nothing about it is safe and effective.

    • First off, it has ZERO to do with a virus. It’s all about control. Just do what your leaders tell you to do without question. It’s a psychological thing called “conditioning”. And they want to take away our freedom to choose for ourselves. Secondly, they don’t care if people die. Want proof? They are pro abortion. And recently Joe Biden (or whoever is really running the country) is letting criminals out of jail who are drug runners and pushers. Those drugs are killing our youth.

  3. I wonder what happened to all those vaxxed lab rats earlier in the year cheerleading for Biden on those forced jab mandates for employment? It is funny how they tried so hard to defend their position on this fraudulent big pharma kill shot. First they said you wouldn’t catch Covid. LOL! Then they said you wouldn’t get as sick. LOL! Then they said you wouldn’t be hospitalized if you had your shots. LOL! Then they said you wouldn’t die. LOL! What is wrong with these people? They say they trust science but it doesn’t seem they understand what science actually is. More people are dead and injured from this experimental gene therapeutic masquerading as a vaccine than Covid. It is a crime against humanity and the democrats and conservatives that stood by these jabs are complacent to genocide in my opinion. What happened to the democratic party? It seems like they are nothing but a warmongering death cult of censorship. When did they become so evil? And how can anyone who loves humanity and freedom support them at this point? They are nothing but eugenic loving Nazis at this point that shout for censorship, gender mutilations, human experimentations without consent, and war. The sad part is they don’t even see the monsters they have become. What sad times we live in.

  4. Clarify please: is this one of the suits that Alaska was a party to? So our fed employees and mil are covered by the injunction?

  5. They are voting to add the vaccine to the National childhood vaccine schedule. At that point, the National vaccine compensation act will cover all liability and indemnify the manufacturers. This will mean there’s no longer a legal need for the emergency declaration, and many states will FORCE all children to get it, or not go to school.
    And what this will mean for military: there will be a gradually declining population of unvaccinated people joining up. The religious issue will evaporate over time.

  6. Janine Small (pfizer exec) just admitted that they had no data that showed it stopped transmission before it hit the market.

  7. I come across Coasties at times from the base. Usually at church. Some of the most outspoken people I have met anywhere for the jab. I can hear the talking points as they recite them seemingly verbatim. The military doesn’t seem to be attracting the same quality of person it used to. I wonder why?

  8. I got the vaccine and a booster and never had any issues except for a slightly sore shoulder at the injection site. It has been proven effective at protecting against severe illness and death, which is the whole point of a vaccine. Same thing goes for the flu vaccine. What on earth a vaccine mandate has to do with “religious freedom” escape me. “Religious freedom” in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan is why we still have yet to eliminate polio in the world. When Jenner introduced his smallpox vaccine, there were those in the catholic and protestant churches that said taking the vaccine was against gods plan. How little things have changed since then.

    • Most people that get into an auto accident don’t die. Some don’t even have injuries. But I still don’t drive the Glenn Highway on the first snow. That’s my decision.

    • Anti vaxxers rely on faith and horse paste, not science. Science flies us to the moon. Faith flies us into buildings.

  9. Hysterical covidianism is nothing but mass insanity and a death cult.
    Anyone still trying to force these ineffective, unsafe and useless so-called vexes on anyone is, by definition, an idiot and/or a sociopath.

    • Oy, still proudly representing the extreme fringy extremist fringe, eh? You are the best player on my team.

      • No, Lucinda, merely the sane majority of this country, who do not buy into the rigidly dogmatic religion of Wokeism, nor the sheeplike and spineless conformity of blindly following and believing in the self-serving, contradictory and inherently irrational pronouncements and mandates of power establishment “experts”.
        But again, you are too ignorant, too arrogant, too blinded by your own conformity, and too morally and intellectually spineless in your servile acquiescence to corrupt authority to realize any of those facts about yourself.

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