A lawsuit filed Oct. 24, 2021, in DC District Court by attorney Michael Yoder details the illegal steps taken by the Biden Administration to unconstitutionally deny religious exemptions to federal employees by using a Task Force and fake deadlines to circumvent the first amendment and deprive Plaintiffs of their free exercise of religion.
Shocking video footage from an Oct. 8, 2021 'Safer Federal Workforce Task Force' Zoom call reveals Sam Berger—former Senior Advisor to Obama and the former VP of Democracy for John Podesta's Center for American Progress (CAP)—outlined to nearly 200 high-level officials from various government agencies the "methodical approach" for each agency to adopt when dealing with religious exemptions.
The Unbelievable Task Force Scheme to Deny Religious Exemptions
In order to find out how many federal employees might seek an exemption, the Task Force advised the agencies to establish a deadline, with no intention of enforcing it, to induce all or nearly all federal employees seeking religious exemptions to submit them. Armed with that information, the Task Force then instructed the agencies not to issue any decisions. As explained in the lawsuit, the Task Force reasoned:
“once you grant an exemption to an individual in a job category, it is very hard to say that you’re not going to grant [an exemption] to a similarly situated person.”
The Task Force stressed out loud that, because it is important to "collect information" on federal employees who might hold sincerely held religious beliefs prohibiting them from complying with the vaccine mandate, the agencies should “take their time,” and “should not feel rushed that they have to take steps immediately.”
The Zoom call further revealed that the Task Force provided the agencies with a religious exemption questionnaire designed to collect specific information from employees seeking religious exemptions. Granting the agencies the full authority to refuse to provide religious accommodations under "whatever circumstances each agency so chooses," the Task Force further directed the agencies to:
"work bearing in mind that a fair bit of thought went into the range of questions and the kind of information that [the questions] would provide."
The lawsuit points out that instead of advising the agencies against taking any actions that would constitute a violation of federal law, the Task Force instead further identified its scheme to NOT provide any exemptions, emphasizing how important it is for the agencies to “figure[e] it out as quickly as possible . . . because [the agencies are] not going to run an accommodation in those places–and that’s totally fine.”
By following the directives of the Task Force, the lawsuit maintains the Defendants have either failed to implement a process for Plaintiff and federal employees to submit religious exemptions or intentionally implemented a strategy to collect information from Plaintiff's and federal employees to which they are not entitled. Both are in violation of current EEOC Guidance, federal statutory law, and the fundamental First Amendment right to engage in the free exercise of religion.
Reinforcing the nefarious agenda of the Task Force, the lawsuit explains that EO 14043—signed on Sept. 9, 2021, to establish the "Vaccine Mandate"—insists all federal agencies implement a program "requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all of its federal employees, with exceptions only as required by law." EO 14043 also declares that within 7 days of the EO, the Task Force must issue guidance on agency implementation of the vaccine mandate for all agencies covered by the order.
Still, on Sept. 13, 2021, when the Task Force published its Guidance titled "COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Agency Model Safety Principles," the Guidance was entirely devoid of any information about religious exemptions. Instead, it established the Nov. 22 deadline for compliance and delegated decision-making authority to the heads of respective government agencies. By not including guidance on exemptions as clearly provided by law, the lawsuit states the Task Force violated EO 14043 "on its face" adding:
"... the egregiousness as the why the Task Force refused to give the agencies guidance is conscious shocking."
The Executive Order Driving the Task Force
As the Nov. 22, 2021 deadline approaches for the Federal Vaccine Mandate, hundreds of thousands of federal employees and active-duty service members face unlawful termination. Many service members have been denied religious exemptions despite having sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit them from complying with Executive Order 14043 (EO 14043), signed by the president on Sept. 9, 2021. The 99-page lawsuit, filed on Oct. 24, 2021, reminds the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause provides that:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
According to the lawsuit, by exploiting EO 13991, which established the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, Biden has wrongly "revered CDC guidelines as the holy grail of not only medical authority—but legal authority too." In what logic dictates is not a coincidence, one short day after the FDA's "approval" of the Pfizer COMIRNATY COVID-19 "vaccine," Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a DoD Order on Aug. 24 demanding all active-duty servicemembers be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Legal Distinctions between Pfizer-BioNTech & Comirnaty "Vaccines"
The lawsuit emphasizes that Pfizer's COMIRNATY® COVID-19 mRNA vaccine ("COMIRNATY"), approved by the FDA on Aug. 23, 2021, is legally distinguishable from the Pfizer-BioNTech "vaccine" (BioNTech) as spelled out in the FDA's COMIRNATY vaccine approval announcement. Explaining the significant distinction, including the fact COMIRNATY has a stated eleven ingredients and Pfizer-BioNTech has just ten, the lawsuit says:
The FDA approval letter only states that COMIRNATY is FDA-approved; Pfizer-BioNTech, is not, nor has it ever been approved by the FDA.
It could not be clearer that BioNTech is not FDA-approved and therefore, the vaccine remains subject to the EUA provisions of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act ("FDCA").
As a result, a mass misinformation campaign has construed the two legally distinct vaccines to be considered by the public at-large as a single "Pfizer vaccine"—this is not correct.
While Pfizer's COMIRNATY approval letter states that its two vaccines share the same formulation, the FDA concedes that "the products are legally distinct with certain differences. . ."
In tremendous detail, the lawsuit explains the lack of evidence proving what the "certain differences" are between the two "vaccines," and questions the FDA's assertion that the two distinct formulations can legally be used interchangeably.
Outlining the visible labeling differences between the two "vaccines," the FDA asserted in a letter to Pfizer, "The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vial label and carton labels are clearly marked for 'Emergency Use Only.'" In what the lawsuit contends is "not true," the FDA also included specific language in the letter declaring "the licensed vaccine (COMIRNATY) has the same formulation as the EUA-authorized vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) and the products can be used interchangeably to provide vaccination series without presenting any safety or effectiveness concerns."
According to the CDC, "the FDA approved the licensure of COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA), made by Pfizer for BioNTech." The lawsuit points out that the FDA did not approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Noticeably, with the full awareness that the BioNTech vaccine is not FDA-approved, the CDC nevertheless stated that:
"... because "[t]he FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech product COMIRNATY and the FDA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have the same formulation[,] [the two vaccines] can be used interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series . . .". As a result, the CDC has advised:
[V]accination providers can use doses distributed under EUA [(e.g., the non-FDA approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine)] to administer the vaccination series as if the doses were the licensed vaccine.
The lawsuit affirms without question that the CDC is wrong. The EUA statute explicitly states that anyone administered an EUA product must be informed of the option to accept or refuse it, as well as alternatives to the product and the risks and benefits of receiving it. Equally as erroneous is the CDC's assertion that "vaccine providers can use doses distributed under EUA to administer the vaccination series as if the doses were the licensed vaccine." Without question, possibly the most crucial difference between COMIRNATY and Pfizer-BioNTech is their current availability.
On the surface, the lawsuit notes that the FDA's approval letter for COMIRNATY states that the CDC: explicitly distinguishes between the COMIRNATY and BioNTech vaccines; expressly determines that COMIRNATY is FDA approved and BioNTech is under EUA; asserts that COMIRNATY and BioNTech have the same "formulation"; and alleges that, "despite certain differences" between the two, BioNTech can be used interchangeably with COMRINATY. And then, the lawsuit aptly illustrates the Biden Administration's significant untruth, explaining:
"... and then with abject audacity, [the FDA] advises that "[a]lthough COMIRNATY is approved. . . there is not sufficient approved vaccine available for distribution to this population in its entirety at the time of reissuance of [the BioNTech] EUA.
In unequivocal terms, the FDA has made it expressly clear: "There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the emergency use of [the BioNTech] COVID‑19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
The only vaccine that has received FDA approval is COMIRNATY, yet COMIRNATY is unavailable. [Therefore] no FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine is available."
All Current COVID-19 Vaccines Use Aborted Fetal Cell Tissue
As discussed extensively in the lawsuit, fetal tissue has a long history of being procured and sold in the development of vaccines. It is not disputed that two fetal cell lines were used in the development and testing of the three available COVID-19 "vaccines." The use of fetal cells in vaccines goes against the Plaintiffs' sincerely held religious beliefs that compel them to refuse these products in their body, regardless of any perceived benefit or rationale.
In an apparent attempt to conceal the presence of fetal cells, Pfizer Senior Director of Worldwide Research Vanessa Gelman is quoted as saying, "From the perspective of corporate affairs, we want to avoid having the information on fetal cells floating out there...The risk of communicating this right now outweighs any potential benefit we could see..." And Philip Dormitzer, Pfizer's Chief Scientific Officer, has echoed that he wants to keep the information a secret because of the objections of pro-life individuals, like the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
DoD Misrepresentations, Falsification of Records & Denials of Exemptions
Significantly, on Oct. 15, 2021, Major Edwin Paz requested information from the DiLorenzo Clinic about whether the clinic had any of the FDA-approved COMIRNATY available. Clinic Director Dr. Seto responded, stating, "Pfizer has not made any Comirnaty. There is no expected date when we will receive Comirnaty." DoD OIG COVID-19 Coordinator corroborated this statement after being informed by DoD officials that the Pentagon does not have any COMIRNATY and does not know when the product will be available.
With the DoD recognition that Pfizer has not made any COMIRNATY, the lawsuit points to indisputable evidence that the DoD does not now, nor has it ever had, one or more FDA-approved doses of COMIRNATY. In undoubtedly one of the more damaging revelations, the DoD has falsified the medical records of active-duty personnel to reflect the injection of the FDA-approved COMIRNATY vaccine. Chief Warrant Officer One Jacob Workman has testified that his immunization records with the TRICARE medical portal reflect that he received the COMIRNATY jab on Oct. 8, 2021.
Finally, under the jurisdiction of Secretary of Defense Austin and President Biden, using identical language, the U.S. Marine Corps has denied the religious accommodation requests of servicemembers. Pursuant to the Marine Administration Message (MARDAMIN) on Oct. 23, 2021, the Marine Corps has begun processing 1st Lt. Soto and Cpl. Hall. for administrative separation and subjected them to adverse administrative disciplinary action. In addition to the "copy/paste" generic responses received, both men cite errors in the data referenced in their respective letters, leaving each to assume their requests for religious exemption were not "carefully considered."
[gallery size="large" columns="2" td_gallery_title_input="Religious Accomodation Denial, Soto and Hall" ids="32251,32249"]
Claims for Relief
By limiting the vaccination mandate to only Executive Branch employees of the "agencies," such as the Plaintiffs, while not requiring the same from other Executive Branches (like the White House, EOP, CDC, NIH, NIAID), the Plaintiffs allege the Vaccine Mandate instituted by Defendants, which is neither neutral nor generally applicable, plainly and unconstitutionally targets religious practice.
With the goal of a Court rendered declaratory judgment that the Vaccine Mandate is illegal and unlawful, the lawsuit asks, among other things, that the court issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the draconian vaccine commands. Without sufficient provisions for exemption or accommodation for sincerely held religious beliefs, the Vaccine Mandate violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. For that reason, the Defendants should immediately grant Plaintiff's requests for religious exemptions from the Vaccine Mandate to accommodate their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Yoder points out that "while reasonable minds can disagree to the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic," the United States Supreme Court reminds us:
"even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten."