(LifeSiteNews) – The Middle District Court of Florida is slated to hear arguments next month on whether to block the Biden administration to force COVID-19 vaccines on American soldiers.
In August, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed the secretaries of all military departments to “immediately begin full [COVID] vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces,” and “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.” President Joe Biden has dismissed concerns that such mandates will force a significant number of Americans to leave or not apply for critical jobs.
In response, Liberty Counsel has filed a class action suit against Biden and Austin as well as a motion to block the mandate on behalf of more than a dozen individuals representing all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, including officers, chaplains, National Guardsmen, and Navy SEALs, as well as civilian contractors who work with the Department of Defense.
The suits argue that being forced to take one of the COVID vaccines violates the plaintiff’s religious liberty as protected by the First Amendment, as well as the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. It cites the fact that all three of the shots currently used in the United States relied, to varying degrees, on the use of human cells from aborted babies in their development and/or testing process.
“Liberty Counsel’s plaintiffs hold sincere religious beliefs against the COVID shots that their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and to defile it is a sin against God,” the group says. “They do not want to participate directly or indirectly or otherwise be associated with the destruction of human life through abortion by injecting a product that contains or was tested or developed with aborted fetal cell lines.”
“The plaintiffs have all submitted religious exemption requests but have been told there are no religious exemptions,” Liberty Counsel continues. “For the military plaintiffs, they have been told that merely submitting such a request will subject them to dishonorable discharge. The federal employees and civilian contractors similarly have faced opposition and none of the civilian contractors have received any guidance on where or how to file a religious exemption.”
Liberty Counsel also notes that all of the COVID vaccines currently being used rely on Emergency Use Authorization, and that without full approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration individuals cannot be denied the “option to accept or refuse” them.
“The Biden administration has no authority to require the COVID shots for the military or for federal employees or civilian contractors,” said Mat Staver, the group’s founder and chairman. “Every COVID shot mandate is illegal under the Emergency Use Authorization law.”
While defenders of vaccine mandates are quick to point out that the military has long required soldiers to vaccinate against a range of diseases, the fact remains that previous vaccines were subjected to far more evaluation and development time before being put into widespread use than the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID shots receive during their accelerated clinical trials.
Vaccine defenders also note that this one-year development period was not starting from scratch, but rather relied on years of prior research into mRNA technology; and that one of the innovations of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed was conducting various aspects of the development process concurrently rather than sequentially, eliminating delays unrelated to safety. However, those factors do not fully account for the condensing of clinical trial phases — each of which can take anywhere from 1-3 years on their own — to just three months apiece.
While cases of severe harm reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) after taking COVID shots represent less than one percent of total doses administered in the United States, a 2010 report submitted to the US Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) warned that VAERS caught “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events.” May reporting from NBC News quotes several mainstream experts acknowledging “gaps” in federal vaccine monitoring.
Further, a growing body of data indicates that the mass vaccination strategy for defeating COVID-19 has failed, thereby undermining the rationale for mandates. The federal government considers more than 189 million Americans (57% of the eligible) to be “fully vaccinated,” yet ABC News reported on October 6 that more Americans died of COVID-19 this year (353,000) than in all of 2020 (352,000), according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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