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More than 50 federal employees from across the U.S. government have banded together to sue the Biden administration over coronavirus vaccine mandates, according to court documents.
The Washington-based Federal Practice Group filed the complaint against President Joe Biden and top agency officials in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Oct. 19 on behalf of the dozens of federal workers and submitted an amended version on Oct. 20.
The Department of Homeland Security has 20 employees listed in the lawsuit, more than any other federal department or independent agency. All federal workers face a Nov. 22 deadline to be fully vaccinated, which is considered complete two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot.
“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 complaint states. “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.”
Feds for Medical Freedom, a coalition organizing federal workers and behind the lawsuit, asked the court to block Biden's policy from taking effect next month.
"On the basis that the mandates, as written and being implemented, are unlawful, federal employees are asking the judicial system to issue an order that prevents the mass firings of dedicated public servants," Feds for Medical Freedom wrote on its website.
The lawsuit states that the Biden administration violated federal workers' rights on three levels.
First, it says that Biden’s early September executive orders that employees receive full doses of the vaccine or face termination does not allow for a case-by-case review and employer accommodations and requires the government itself unlawfully inquire about each person’s medical history.
Second, the complaint states that firing employees on a perceived disability is illegal.
"Communicable diseases are considered disabilities. Through the issuance of these mandates, it is presumed that an unvaccinated individual at some point will contract COVID-19, a communicable disease," the complaint states.
It also cites the natural immunity that unvaccinated federal employees may have gotten through infection.
"The internet is replete with multiple studies confirming the lasting immunity to COVID-19 experienced by individuals who have previously contracted COVID-19. One notable one is 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," the complaint states.
Third, it says Biden’s action goes against the informed consent principles of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which states that all U.S. citizens have the right to accept or refuse medicines authorized under “emergency use” without having to worry about losing their job.
The White House and DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Original Author: Anna Giaritelli
Original Location: New coalition of federal employees sues Biden over vaccine mandate