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POMONA, California (LifeSiteNews) – Hospitals are backtracking on hundreds of previously denied religious exemption requests for COVID vaccine mandates as healthcare workers fight back against compulsory vaccination.
After threats of legal action, Los Angeles-area Pomona Valley Hospital (PVH) reversed a decision made earlier this month to reject around 200 requests for vaccination exemptions filed by nurses and other staff, The Epoch Times reported.
The PVH had granted a blanket denial to the requests, asking employees to provide more details about their religious beliefs than required by the hospital’s exemption request form.
“We received your COVID-19 vaccine religious exemption request. After thorough review of your request, we are informing you that the Hospital has concluded that the request should be denied on the grounds that it does not establish a sufficient basis for granting an exemption from the vaccination requirement,” read a rejection email collectively sent to 200 PVH employees on August 31.
The letter gave staff until three days before the Labor Day holiday to supply additional information about their applications. The group of unvaccinated employees, who stressed that their personal religious beliefs compelled them to avoid currently available COVID-19 vaccines, hired an attorney in response, according to The Epoch Times.
It's official: Joe Biden has announced that his Administration will be forcing COVID vaccinations on nearly 1/3rd of American citizens, blatantly disregarding the personal objections of millions of people and moving America ever closer towards a medical dictatorship.
We cannot stand for this unprecedented overreach, and we will not submit to Biden's tyrannical public coercion efforts.
Please SIGN this urgent petition informing the President that you will NOT comply with these unconstitutional vaccine mandate orders issued by the Biden Administration, and that elected officials should act in their capacity to block these intrusive demands.
On Thursday, September 9th, Joe Biden announced the latest round of federal orders meant to further coerce large swaths of the public into getting the COVID vaccine -- many against their will.
While the legal standing of these measures is, at best, dubious, the Biden Administration appears more ready than ever to gut our individual rights and practically erase medical autonomy in our country.
This latest escalation in overreach was announced via a televised speech in which Biden outlined a new "six-point plan" that includes far more than just six avenues to achieve mass medical compliance.
Among the most egregious new federal mandates are the following:
- A requirement that all private businesses employing more than 100 people mandate their workers get the Covid-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing (to be implemented by way of a new Department of Labor rule)
- A requirement that all federal employees and federal contractors get the COVID vaccine
- A requirement that all healthcare workers in facilities that receive reimbursement from Medicare and/or Medicaid (an estimated 17 million) get the Covid-19 vaccine without an alternative testing option
- A requirement that all Head Start teachers get the COVID vaccine
- A federal effort to lobby states to implement vaccine mandates for all school employees, and require regular testing of all students and school staff
- A federal effort to lobby entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or testing in order to grant entry to the public
- A continuation of mask mandates on all federal properties and during interstate travel (i.e. planes, trains, buses)
All in all, these new vaccine mandates, which will go into effect within the coming weeks, will affect an estimated 100 million American workers -- 2/3rds of the entire workforce!
And, according to an administration official, violations of these unconstitutional requirements could result in fines of up to $14,000.
While this is clearly a political ploy on the part of the Joe Biden and his team of power-hungry Washington insiders to shift the focus from their disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the American public knows better: After nearly a year and a half's worth of arbitrary, ever-changing, and unconstitutional government mandates in response to the COVID outbreak, it was always a given that the Biden Administration would ramp things up even further when it behooved them.
And now, it would seem that time has officially come.
"This is not about freedom or personal choice," Biden uttered in his remarks, confirming his administration's blatant dismissal of all Americans' right(s) to accept or decline the experimental Covid-19 vaccine.
This is a stunning reversal from Biden's declaration last December that "I don’t think [the vaccine] should be mandatory, I wouldn’t demand it to be mandatory."
In fact, Biden even confirmed his intention to flout states' rights in the process, warning that "If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way."
These are not the words of an "empathetic" leader; these are the words of an aspiring dictator. And, for the time being, the only way to stop Joe Biden's tyranny is through mass noncompliance.
As we've said from the beginning, science, basic logic, and common sense should dictate policy regarding COVID and the Delta variant.
But Joe Biden and the federal government have long abandoned those principles throughout this crisis, culminating into this disturbing yet inevitable flurry of intrusive vaccine mandates that use people's jobs, individual autonomy, and livelihood as leverage.
This assault on our individual rights, private businesses, and American workers cannot be tolerated, and the easiest way to combat these unlawful orders is to just say NO.
Please SIGN and SHARE this most important petition letting Joe Biden know that you will NOT comply with the unconstitutional medical demands being made by this administration, and that action should be taken to block any intrusive action against working Americans and private employers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Biden announces vaccine requirements for private businesses, impacting tens of millions of Americans': https://www.
Pomona Valley Hospital’s vaccine mandate comes after a rule issued last month by the California Department of Public Health requiring vaccination for all health care providers in the state by September 30 – weeks later than the PVH deadline – as a condition of employment.
Recent guidance published by the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DEFA) noted, however, that state law “requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees with a known disability or sincerely-held religious belief or practice that prevents them from being vaccinated COVID-19” and prevents retaliation against workers who seek exemptions. The guidance also states that employers may not “discriminate against or harass employees or job applicants on the basis of a protect characteristic,” like religion.
Dan Watkins, the PVH employees’ attorney, sent a letter to hospital officials on September 3 informing them that failure to respect non-discrimination requirements would result in lawsuits by each of his plaintiffs.
Pomona Valley responded to Watkins five days later with a statement that the hospital had “decided to approve” the requests after all.
“Upon further review and examination, PVHMC has decided to approve all requests for religious exemption that it has received to date,” the statement read, adding that PVH “understands that the California and Los Angeles County public health orders identify an exemption from mandatory vaccination based upon an employee’s religious beliefs.”
“The case is pretty clear, that a sincerely held religious belief of an individual is just that,” Watkins told The Epoch Times. “The exemptions are not reliant on confirmation or affirmation from a pastor or priest or from some spiritual leader. You don’t have to testify to the frequency of attending services. Some of the questions employers are including in the applications are very intimidating and they’re designed to make employees think that they don’t even have a belief or that they can’t defend their beliefs.”
“So there are two things going on. One is there’s an actual intentional effort to intimidate and coerce people to not even submit an exemption request by asking questions of employees that are over-broad and irrelevant to this analysis. The second effort is to deny the exemption once they’re submitted, saying they want more information, or it’s denied again as a form of harassment and intimidation.”
Watkins also warned of shortage problems, as have been seen across the United States, that PVH would likely experience in the wake of mass layoffs due to non-compliance with vaccination rules. “I can’t imagine they are ready to fire or otherwise allow 200-plus staff members [to] walk off the job,” he said. “Operationally, that would be very difficult, but more importantly, patient care would be put at risk. The optics in that scenario would be pretty bad.”
Unvaccinated employees and volunteers at Pomona Valley must still wear face masks and undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, despite their exemptions.
In New York, a federal court ruling last Tuesday has led a Syracuse-based hospital to restore exemptions initially granted to almost 100 employees, before the New York Department of Health terminated religious exemptions for health care workers as part of a new statewide vaccine mandate three weeks ago.
Judge David Hurd of the Northern District of New York temporarily blocked the health department’s policy in light of a lawsuit brought by the Thomas More Society on behalf of 17 Christian medical professionals. New York “is barred from interfering in any way with the granting of religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination going forward, or with the operation of exemptions already granted,” Hurd ruled.
The Thomas More Society lawsuit argued that “it would be a violation of [the plaintiffs’] deeply held religious beliefs and moral consciences to take any of the available COVID-19 vaccines given their use of abortion-derived fetal cell lines in testing, development, or production.”
“These plaintiffs are not – I repeat – not anti-vaxxers, as the fake news media calls them,” said attorney Christopher Ferrara, Thomas More Society Special Counsel. “They are in fact in favor of voluntary vaccination with informed consent, but they oppose jack-booted coercion by the state to take a vaccine their religion forbids them to take. This is America, not Red China.”
St. Joseph’s Health, part of the Catholic, Michigan-based hospital system Trinity Health, will reinstate exemptions previously eliminated by the blocked Department of Health policy and will review applications that were pending or denied because of the state’s mandate, Becker’s Hospital Review reported. New hires may also now submit religious exemption requests.
“While Trinity Health’s vaccination requirement allowed an exemption for persons objecting to vaccination based on a sincerely held religious belief, the [state’s] emergency regulation does not,” Trinity CEO Leslie Paul Luke wrote in a memo explaining the reversal. “This meant Trinity Health could no longer grant religious exemptions to colleagues in our New York health ministries,” he said, according to Becker’s Hospital Review.