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President Joe Biden talks with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III.Shutterstock

WASHINGTON (LifeSiteNews) — A group of Air Force officers and federal agents have sued the Biden administration over “unlawful” and “manipulative” COVID vaccine mandates issued for the U.S. military and the federal workforce this summer.

“There is perhaps no greater usurpation of fundamental constitutional rights than forcibly injecting a foreign substance into an American citizen,” the plaintiffs argued in a lawsuit last month. “The rights of our nation’s most heinous convicted serial killers who have been sentenced to death receive more respect than this — and often times, even while already strapped to the chair.”

The federal lawsuit, filed on September 23 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, names Joe Biden and Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as defendants and calls for an injunction to block enforcement of the mandates.

“The unlawful Vaccine Mandates and subsequent promulgations thereof by Defendants compel through duress or deception, that Plaintiffs and the dozens of similarly situated service members, federal employees, and federal contractors, inject themselves with: (1) a non-FDA approved product; (2) against their will; and (3) without informed consent,” the complaint reads.

The ten plaintiffs include four Air Force officers, a State Department Foreign Services Officer, a Border Patrol agent, and a Secret Service agent formerly assigned to President Bill Clinton’s service detail, according to the Washington Post. Several employees of federal contractors joined the lawsuit as well.

Many of the plaintiffs cited past COVID-19 infections and natural immunity to the virus, which studies have shown offers exponentially more protection than the experimental, short-term COVID jabs. Others pointed to medical conditions, like myocarditis or anaphylactic episodes, which put them at higher risk for well-documented adverse effects of the shots.

The plaintiffs also noted conscience objections to the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S., all of which were either tested or developed with cells derived from aborted babies.

“Fundamental to the Christian faith is a teaching that requires Christians to refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her informed conscience comes to this sure judgment,” the plaintiffs’ lawsuit states, adding that “vaccination is not a universal obligation, and a person must obey the judgment of his or her own informed and certain conscience.”

The suit argues that the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates violate multiple federal laws, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), as well as the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, and the due process and equal protection provisions of the Fifth Amendment.

The legal challenge came two weeks after Biden mandated COVID vaccination for all federal workers and contractors last month with no testing opt-out. Defense Secretary Austin had similarly ordered the jab for all members of the U.S. military following FDA approval of Pfizer’s Comirnaty COVID vaccine in late August.

According to the recent lawsuit, however, Comirnaty remains unavailable in the United States, and is actually “legally distinct” from the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID shot under emergency use authorization (EUA), as the FDA has acknowledged. As such, the Pfizer vaccine and all other COVID jabs available with emergency approval require an “option to accept or refuse,” the lawsuit says, citing FDA and Pfizer fact sheets, the FDCA, and a Justice Department memorandum earlier this year.

While Biden’s mandates ostensibly allow medical and religious exemptions, the White House has made it clear that those will likely be scarce. “Determining whether an exception is legally required will include consideration of factors such as the basis for the claim; the nature of the employee’s job responsibilities; and the reasonably foreseeable effects on the agency’s operations, including protecting other agency employees and the public from COVID-19,” the Biden administration announced in September.

Federal employees have until November 8 to become vaccinated for COVID-19 or else face possible disciplinary action, including termination. The deadline for the Air Force is November 2.

The vaccine mandates also offer no exemptions for natural immunity, regardless of scientific evidence showing robust, long-lasting protection among those previously infected. At the same time, the vaccinated have come to dominate COVID hospitalizations and cases in the U.S., with the “fully vaccinated” making up over 60 percent of older Americans hospitalized for the virus in August, a report from the Department of Defense recently revealed.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has even admitted that the vaccines cannot “prevent transmission,” the ten plaintiffs’ lawsuit notes.

“Despite this, Defendants arbitrarily allow Plaintiffs and other service members, federal employees, and federal contractors are permitted to serve or work without limitation, so long as they are ‘fully vaccinated’ — a status incontrovertibly has been statistically and medically proven to be irrelevant as to the prevention of COVID-19 infection and subsequent transmission.”

“On the other hand, Plaintiffs and other service members, federal employees, and federal contractors who have natural immunity have faced and continue to face adverse employment action, including without limitation, reprimand, termination, and dishonorable discharge,” the lawsuit states.

The Biden vaccine mandates have already spurred other challenges, with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) suing to halt the COVID vaccination orders for federal workers and contractors three weeks ago. U.S. Army and Marine Corps officers have also challenged the vaccine requirements for the military.

Republican governors and attorneys general across more than two dozen states have threatened additional legal action against an anticipated vaccine mandate for private businesses announced last month by the White House.