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Attorney Jeff Childers on How He Won Against Mask and Vaccine Mandates, and Inspired Other Lawyers to Do the Same

“I told them what I was doing. And every single one of them said, Jeff, why are you throwing your career away over this?”

When COVID-19 hit, Jeff Childers, a bankruptcy attorney in Gainesville, Florida, found himself stunned by the sudden imposition of a mandatory mask mandate. He launched himself into constitutional law and got the first appellate decision in the country finding mandatory masking presumptively unconstitutional.

“If they could get away with encroaching on our constitutional rights to that extent, dictating what we wore, then they were going to go to the next level. That seemed obvious to me. And it was not something that was obvious to my peers,” Childers says.

In the last two years, he’s successfully fought against vaccine mandates, defended high-profile individuals in the Jan. 6 committee investigations, and sued a hospital for forcing a patient to stay hospitalized on a ventilator and remdesivir against the wishes of the patient’s family. After many lawyers reached out to Childers for advice, he launched an informal network around the country to share information and help other lawyers launch similar lawsuits in their states.

“Every major institution in this country has closed ranks to protect those wrongdoers … There will be accountability,” Childers says.

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Jan Jekielek:

Jeff Childers, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Jeff Childers:

Thank you. Nice to be here.

Mr. Jekielek:

You’ve been deeply involved in litigation around many issues surrounding COVID.

Mr. Childers:

That’s true. Unexpectedly, I would say.

Mr. Jekielek:

So, very briefly, tell me how you got involved in this.

Mr. Childers:

So my background is I’m a commercial litigation attorney, which means I usually represent businesses and fight about money. And I’ve been doing that for a long time and was very successful at it and had a nice boutique practice where I didn’t have to work that hard and still did very well, and then the pandemic came. And I had one of those moments that you have in life where you never forget it. 

And for me, it was sitting on my back patio, watching my first county commission meeting that I’d ever seen in my life. My wife was sitting next to me. I can visualize it like I’m sitting there right now. And I saw those commissioners discuss an out of control pandemic in about 10 minutes, and then pass the first mandatory mask mandate in the state of Florida that was countywide. And something just grabbed me in an almost spiritual way.

I was so offended. I looked at my wife and I said, “There’s no way that’s constitutional. They can’t tell us what to wear. They can’t tell us we have to strap something to our head and wear it around. That’s insane.” Now, I had never practiced any constitutional or civil rights law in my entire career. I didn’t even know where to start. 

But I fired off a demand letter to the county commission, hit the books, and within a week or two, I filed my very first complaint against any government entity. I didn’t even know where to serve it. Who do you give it to, the mayor? You put it in that little slot at the library where you return the books. I had to figure all that stuff out. 

And as I do with any case that has novel issues, I called my peers for advice, and I told them what I was doing. And every single one of them said, “Jeff, why are you throwing your career away over this?” And it was a real gut check. These are people that I have profound respect for who have decades more legal experience than I do.

But I decided to push through and to tackle it. And the result of that one, which is what put me into the middle of the hurricane, was we won. We won on appeal. We got the only appellate decision as far as I know in the entire country, finding that mandatory masking was presumptively unconstitutional. 

And so when people heard that I was willing to take these cases, and you remember we’re talking about the summer of 2020, the peak of mask hysteria, where even asking the question about the masks would get you the response, “You’re literally killing grandma.” Right? You remember that? And so there were very few attorneys who had any real serious litigation track record that were willing to take these cases. 

So we started to get all kinds of things, and very quickly we challenged the vaccines. And on my first vaccine case, we won, as far as I know, the first broad preliminary injunction against the government vaccine mandate in the entire country. We got death threats over that one.

We removed a school board member who was about to pass a sweeping CRT-related transformation of the school district. We challenged one of the largest hospital chains in the country over its private vaccine mandate. And while we didn’t get a preliminary injunction on that one, they immediately backed down after we got the verbal order from the judge, because it was so strong in recognizing the irrationality of the mandate. 

So, this is all brand new territory for me, completely unlike anything I’ve ever done. And I’m not used to being in the limelight. Now, I’m being invited to talk, like recently at the Moms for Liberty National Conference. My session with Joe Harding was right after Governor DeSantis spoke, and I mentioned AR-15s in an analogy. And all across the country, newspapers were running stories about attorney Jeff Childers talks about AR-15s. 

Tiffany Justice is the national co-chair for Moms for Liberty. She was on Dr. Phil the other day, and he asked her about what I said. I’m not used to that kind of stuff. I’m just a quiet boutique, small town attorney fighting over business contracts. I’m as surprised as anyone to be sitting right here talking to you.

Mr. Jekielek:

Something you said really made me think. Everyone you reached out to, your peers or learned peers said, “Why are you throwing your career away?” Why was that so obvious to them, do you think, that this is what was happening?

Mr. Childers:

Wow, that’s a really good question. All or almost all followed that comment up with some remark like, “This will all be over in a few weeks or a few months.” So, I think there was a sort of dual recognition in the profession that this was politically dangerous and that you could be even potentially disbarred. I think that’s the implication, right? 

Throwing your career away means you’re going to lose your bar license over this. Their conventional wisdom was just wait it out, but I didn’t believe it was going to be over soon. It didn’t even occur to me. To me, this mask thing seemed like just the beginning. And if they could get away with encroaching on our constitutional rights to that extent, dictating what we wear, then they were going to go to the next level. 

That seemed obvious to me, but it was not something that was obvious to my peers. My peers seemed to think it was politics as normal. If I could jump to a related story that I think is analogous to this, I also became involved with defending some high profile folks in the January 6th committee investigations.

And once again, because I’ve never represented anyone who was the target of a congressional investigation before, that seems very serious. We’re getting subpoenas and demands for depositions and things like that. And again, one of my superpowers is I’m a fast learner. I have a lot of self confidence that I can learn quickly. But you don’t want to make a mistake. 

So, I called my connections in DC and got references to tall building attorneys who make $1,500 an hour and up, who normally represent folks in that situation. And all of them said, “Jeff, this is just business as normal in DC. The commission is just going to write a report, and then this whole thing’s going to blow over.” And I said, “I don’t know if I believe that. I feel like they’re collecting evidence for DOJ investigations. I feel like there are going to be criminal indictments coming based on all this information that the committee’s scooping up that the DOJ couldn’t get.They don’t have the same powers that Congress does. 

And all these attorneys in DC, these very highly paid guys who swim in that world all told me, “No, they’ll never do that. It would be politically toxic for them to translate this into criminal indictments and criminal prosecutions.” And so I stopped talking to them. It’s the same kind of groupthink that I saw at the beginning with the masks. I don’t know what it is. I can’t explain it because attorneys are very smart people. 

You have to go through law school, pass the bar, think on your feet in front of judges, and handle things that come up in a second. You have to be very intelligent and critical. You have to be a critical thinker. But there was no critical thinking being applied to these issues. And so at bottom, I’m still sort of baffled by the ubiquitous thought process by most conventional, what I call tall building attorneys or large firm attorneys.

And if you pressed me, I would probably suggest to you that these large law firms now are so intertwined with government. They get large cases from different government agencies, for example. And so they have to be careful that they don’t offend their government clients that it makes them very conservative when it comes to anything that challenges the conventional published government narrative. 

That’s my best explanation for why we didn’t see all the traditional civil rights firms jump into this, the ACLU and all of these other civil rights firms that will pick it up if a teacher somewhere can’t put up a pride flag, then you’ve got 10 attorneys there the next day. But if the teacher doesn’t want to wear a mask, there’s nobody showing up to represent them. The difference is that one has the imprimatur of government, and the other one has whatever the reverse opposite of that is. 

And so there’s a problem, there’s a fundamental problem with the system right now. The big law firms, and by big, I mean it went all the way down to law firms with like 50 attorneys, which you would probably call small or medium-sized. But they’re so dependent on government now that they are unwilling to challenge these sorts of official government narratives, at least not without a lot of thought and very cautiously. And that’s a problem I think for normal citizens. We’ve got to break that interdependence between government and our legal community because it’s not good whatever is behind this.

Mr. Jekielek:

You are sitting in that community meeting where you realized, and you thought to yourself, “They can’t do this.” You described it as an almost a spiritual experience. Why do you describe it that way?

Mr. Childers:

I was an agnostic for most of my life and raised Catholic, always believed in God. Just the idea that all of this occurred by accident was ridiculous to me. It just never gripped me at all. And in my early forties, I had a bonafide spiritual experience with a vision and everything else. And that was when I really started reading the Bible and going to church every single weekend and tithing. It was a complete transformation. It happened to me on a bike ride. And if you ask my wife, she’ll say I came back from that bike ride a different, better person.

I started to be more in tune with suggestions that I felt like were coming from a divine source, that weren’t anything that I would’ve thought of on my own. The idea, for example, that I would sue the government over something, it would’ve never occurred to me. That idea is so alien. Any UFO alien was more alien or less alien, I guess, than that idea. 

So, I pay attention to those feelings. I feel like if you don’t follow those suggestions, then the divinity is going to turn up the temperature on you, and that becomes uncomfortable. It’s better to just go with it at the beginning. I went into this having this spiritual conviction that what was happening was just wrong, was morally and ethically wrong.

Sometimes I think we put too much emphasis on the Constitution. I don’t want people to misinterpret that. What I mean is it’s a fantastic document. It has created the largest, most powerful, most successful country in the history of the world. But it is a piece of paper created by men. There is a higher power. The founding documents refer to the higher power. 

All of our rights come from the Creator. They don’t come from government. Those constitutional rights are supposed to be a reflection of our God-given freedoms. Why me? Why a commercial litigation attorney in Gainesville, Florida who’s never even dabbled in this area of law? Aren’t there better lawyers to tackle these problems than me?

And remember we’re right at the beginning. I’m talking about March 2020. Why weren’t the 10 lawyers showing up instantly in Alachua County from the ACLU to fight this? It wasn’t happening, and that was strange. That was very, very weird to me. To answer your question, I feel like there was a spiritual element, that there were forces at play, forces of even good and evil, if you want to put it in those terms. I didn’t feel like I had a choice. If I wound up losing my career over it, then I felt like that was something I needed to do. I needed to be able to say I tried.

Mr. Jekielek:

What did your wife think about that? Because she was sitting beside you, right? 

Mr. Childers:

She was. And I have been so blessed. I don’t have a perfect marriage. I don’t want to make it sound like that, but on the big things, Michelle goes right along with me. She took up the cause and worked heroically at home. She was one of the original moms who was involved in the Moms for Liberty movement, for example, and made countless phone calls and Zoom meetings and things trying to organize citizens who had never been politically active in their entire lives. 

That’s so remarkable. Where we are is that we’ve seen is a revolution among the apolitical, among people who felt like if as long as they minded their own business and did their job and took care of their kids and participated in their community, everything would be fine. I don’t think they feel that way anymore. And there’s a lot of them. My wife was one of those, and it would’ve been so much different if I didn’t have her support. I don’t know if I’d be sitting here.

Mr. Jekielek:

You’ve obviously talked to a lot of people on this boat that you just described, and what are the things that made people suddenly become active?

Mr. Childers:

There’s probably more than one answer to that question.

Mr. Jekielek:

Certainly there are.

Mr. Childers:

At a fundamental level, a lot of people were shocked that the world didn’t work the way that they thought it worked. I think that what happened was when you saw this worldwide, certainly nationwide response for governments turning on a dime—when have you ever seen government do anything fast? But it happened this time. And when have you ever seen all the government actors agree with each other? But it happened this time. 

You, me, our peers, people younger than we are, people older than we are, have never seen anything like that in their entire lives, and with these emergency powers that previously had only been used in short periods of time after a hurricane. I can’t even remember a medical emergency that caused the state of Florida to declare an emergency. I can’t remember that. So that was new.

Nobody had ever seen that before. People always thought that our government officials would exercise some degree of moral and ethical restraint, that they would balance competing interests when they shut down all these small businesses, these small business owners, a lot of whom are my clients. They don’t spend their time in politics. They’re working 12, 14, 16 hours a day making their small business work. 

They never had to pay any attention to it. If they had to go and vote every four years, they would do that. But apart from that, they kept their nose to the grindstone. Well, the government from one day to the next just took their small business away. That was offensive at a level that they had never been offended on before.

And so people refer to that as awakening. I don’t know if that’s a good descriptor or not, but they were certainly shocked. It was like electric shock therapy. When somebody goes through something like that, it’s a very profound experience, maybe even a spiritual experience to have your worldview challenged so fundamentally. Then, to a lot of people, it seemed like the government came after the children. That flips switches that are buried in your reptilian brain, these protective instincts that we have toward our kids. 

I used to talk to pastors. When the churches were shut down, that was another one. I thought that was an incredible constitutional invasion. And sure enough, the Supreme Court has ratified that belief. But way back at the beginning, I was trying to find any church that would let me sue the government for them for First Amendment violations.

And I couldn’t find any. I was out talking to groups of pastors. “Listen, you guys have rights. This is wrong what’s happening. You need to wake up.” And yet there was among the pastor’s group, not all of them, but most of them, there was a great fear or reluctance to directly challenge the government, the government that issues permits when you want to build a new wing on your church, the government who gives you the tax exemption because you’re a nonprofit. Whereas the folks that sat in the pews whose kids were not allowed to go to school were outraged.

It was very, very challenging trying to navigate those two communities. When the parents saw what their kids were being taught on these Zoom classes and things, it horrified them even more. Again, they had this worldview. Their worldview was shaped by how school was when we went to school. Reading, writing, arithmetic, class projects, field trips, Americana, that kind of thing. What they saw was something completely different. And again, it just shredded their concept of ordered liberty. 

When I talked to the pastors, and this is around the summertime of 2020, I said, “You know, you guys have seen these YouTube videos, right? They’re really great where the moms are down at the school board, and they’re tearing up the school board, and they’re pointing out all the flaws in each of their personalities and stuff and getting thrown out and holding signs.” And I said, “Some of those are really entertaining, aren’t they?” And the pastors laughed, and they said, “Yes, yes.” And then I would say, “Where are the men? Where are the men?”

I don’t mean that as a criticism to the male gender. Especially in hindsight, that protective mechanism was activated first and most strongly in the moms. That’s why you saw almost universally these school board sessions packed with ladies because they recognized the threat. Even if they couldn’t enunciate it, they knew there was a threat. 

So, there’s a movement that we all know is there. We can all see it. And that movement is people who were struggling to adapt to this new reality. And it is in very stark terms to them, terms like protecting kids. Who wouldn’t do anything to protect children? What wouldn’t you do to protect your kids?

I was saying this from the very beginning, that our public officials made a horrible mistake in the way that they conducted this pandemic. They made short term expedient decisions to satisfy what they thought were the requirements of controlling a germ, an uncontrollable virus, and not properly considering what was going to happen after. Sure, you can keep the folks locked down for a while, but they’re going to come out, and then they’re going to be looking to see if those decisions that you made, made sense. 

And I think we’re entering that phase now. We’re beginning to enter the phase of accounting where people are starting to say, “Was it worth it?” And the folks who were responsible for making those decisions are at some point going to have to be accountable for the decisions that they made. And what will they say? You can only disassemble and obfuscate for so long.

Mr. Jekielek:

Except we’re in Florida where things seem to have played out a bit differently than what you’re describing. So explain to me what you’re saying here.

Mr. Childers:

Something happened in Florida different than in other states clearly. Everybody wants to say that we have the best governor in the country, and I think we have the best governor in the country. But that is an inadequate explanation. The governor signs laws. He doesn’t write the laws. There is a whole legislature that writes those laws. And if the legislature doesn’t give the governor the laws to sign, he can’t have these signing ceremonies where he gets to take the credit. So our legislature fueled what happened here in Florida. Now, Florida was a purple state going into the pandemic. It’s clearly a solid red state now. Something happened.

I was there at the beginning when Governor DeSantis sort of launched into the man that he is now, which is love him or hate him, he is recognized as one of the most influential people in politics, right? But when I filed my little mask lawsuit against the county in April or May of 2020, I named the governor as an additional defendant. I sued the governor. 

I sued the governor because he wasn’t doing anything about these mandatory mask edicts or whatever you want to call them, executive orders. And I sued him, not because I felt that he was culpable, but because I wanted to get his attention. I felt like surely if he knew what was going on here in Alachua County, he would act.

And at that time, without revealing any confidences, I was hoping to get, and I did get an attorney from the governor’s office assigned to the case. And at that time, the governor’s office position was they really didn’t want to get involved. And I wound up dismissing him out of the case, because the only reason I put him in was to get his attention, and it wasn’t going anywhere. Somewhere along the way, he started to become bolder. 

Now remember, he barely beat Andrew Gillum in his election, so he didn’t come in with a mandate. But he started to pick up. As we started to get wins in the courts and started to push back a little bit, the governor’s office was also coming along, and I saw a change. And as I was filing more suits, the governor’s office was becoming more engaged with me. Ultimately the governor’s office would call me and ask if I could help by filing a lawsuit.

For example, I sued several counties that were rebelling against the state’s mask mandate, the holdout counties, and the state really can’t sue itself. My lawsuits were in large part a result of contacts from the governor’s office asking if I was willing to take up that cause, and we were successful in those lawsuits. So, there was an evolution there. 

And then with the parents’ rights thing, Governor DeSantis has really made a name for himself in the area of parents’ rights, as I’m sure you know. But it was an evolving process. At some point, Florida, I would say, stabilized. We had our schools open. We had our businesses open. We had the masks off.

There was a temptation to feel like we had won. Then, there was another one of those never forget moments. I gave a talk at the Ocala COVID Summit, it was in October of last year. I think it’s been a year, and it was very well attended event. And afterward I was mingling with folks and talking to them, and this nice young lady came up. I remember she had this big flowery hat on and she shook my hand and told me how much she enjoyed my talk and whatnot. And I recognized she had a Canadian accent. 

So I said, “Are you from Canada?” And she said, “Oh yes.” And then she told me, and again, I’ll never forget this story. Meanwhile her whole family started gathering around, more Canadians. She said they had been smuggled out of Canada across the border in the middle of the night. They had left their homes. They had left their bank accounts, their cars, all their property. They basically got connected to an underground railroad through a plane-train-automobile type of sequence in the middle of the night crossing the border. And they went straight to Florida.

What I recognized in October was that we were far from done. Florida is a little outpost, but not only is there Canada, there are other states, blue states where they still have horrible problems with government overreach. So, to answer your question, do you remember the old Florida man meme which you don’t hear that too much anymore? We’re all a bunch of dumb redneck idiots down here that wrestle alligators and jump our pickup trucks over the swamp and that kind of thing. 

But there was something to it. There’s an independent streak in Florida that I think fueled what you see. Again, it’s not just one man. It’s a whole legislature. It’s all the constituents of those legislators who were pushing them and supporting them and everything else. I don’t know if it’s a libertarian streak. I think that’s maybe too facile to say that. But there’s just a doggedly independent streak in Florida that allowed us to create this outpost of freedom.

Mr. Jekielek:

Why do you think DeSantis shifted and his agencies shifted during that time?

Mr. Childers:

I believe that Governor DeSantis is one of the most honest politicians that we’ve seen in a long time. I believe that he embraced things that he wanted to do. But again, he didn’t start with a mandate. He was not a strong governor for Florida when he first started. With Andrew Gillum, I don’t want to say anything critical, but he should have beat Andrew Gillum by a country mile. 

And the governor also, remember, he was a Trump candidate. They love to point that out. And he’s a lawyer, and he’s a very smart man. He watched what President Trump went through. And so his administration is very, very protective, almost to the point of paranoia.

When I say that, I always like to point out it’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you. It’s prudence. They’re very prudently protective of the governor. At the beginning, that was a disadvantage for him. But what happened was it protected him politically from making some early obvious mistakes. Maybe if he had come out against the vaccines from the get go, they would’ve destroyed him for it. He didn’t do that. 

But where are we now? Now, the state of Florida does not even officially recommend taking the vaccines, and they recommend against it for kids. I don’t know if there’s another major state in the US that takes that position, but he’s getting away with it.

The governor has incredibly naturally developed political instincts, and when he saw the opportunity to lead, he took it. Could another governor have done it? Could Greg Abbott have done it, or one of these other conservative governors? I don’t know. I think that there was a unique combination of factors. 

DeSantis didn’t have a lot to lose because he wasn’t on the political map when he started. He wasn’t invested. He didn’t owe a lot of favors, because he hadn’t been around for a long time and because they were so protective. So, that gave him a lot of freedom that other governors didn’t have. I think he’s a good person. He did the right thing.

Mr. Jekielek:

It was almost surreal to me when you said he’s not recommending the vaccine, and he’s recommending against it for children, of course, through Surgeon General Ladapo. And then he’s getting away with it were your words. What do you think about that? Doesn’t that sound like a surreal thing to say?

Mr. Childers:

Right. This is one of those things that if I had said it pre-pandemic, you would’ve written it off as a sort of hyperbolic, maybe conspiracy theory-minded emotional comment. But now, you know exactly what I mean, and it is surreal. This is the world that we didn’t think we were living in, that we found out that we are living in, which is that somebody like you or me, an average citizen could say something on social media that would draw the attention of the entire federal government to try to cancel us and relieve us of our livelihood and put us out of business. 

That’s possible now. I didn’t think that was possible two years ago, and we complained about cancel culture pre-pandemic, but we had no idea what cancel culture was. When the entire corporate media lines up behind the government, when Big Tech lines up behind the federal government to carry out and enforce the federal government’s policies—enforce them—I choose that word carefully. We have something different than the democracy that we thought we had. I don’t know what we have right now, but it’s not what we thought we had.

Mr. Jekielek:

How many lawyers are there in this country right now who are doing the kind of work you’re doing?

Mr. Childers:

That’s a great question. The good news is there are more lawyers now than there ever were. And that number is steadily increasing. We’re starting to see larger and larger firms getting involved in these battles. I’m not aware of any large firm taking on a mask case, but I’m starting to be aware of medium-size firms that will do it or that’ll get involved in these hospital kidnapping cases.

Mr. Jekielek:

What do you mean by that?

Mr. Childers:

Yes. A phase that we went through in my COVID litigation history was when hospitalizations were at their peak. What we would see over and over again is patients who were in the hospital with a COVID diagnosis, many of them entered the hospital for something completely different, but were given a test in the ER or something and were admitted as a COVID patient. They didn’t want Remdesivir. They didn’t want the ventilator, but they were being put on the ventilator, and they were being given Remdesivir against their wishes. 

I can’t tell you how many calls we got, hundreds, thousands, and they were dying. The calls that we were getting were panicked relatives who wanted us to use legal process to force the hospitals to either treat them with alternative treatments that the patient wanted or let them go. And the hospitals wouldn’t do either one.

In one case that I had, I took it up on an emergency appeal. It’s inexplicable. There were three corporate law firms that were hired by the hospital to defend the hospital’s position in that appeal and keep that patient in the hospital, and all the relatives wanted to do was get him out. The hospital said he was not sufficiently stable to move. They said they’re willing to sign whatever releases that the hospital wants. 

They don’t want him on that ventilator anymore. They want him in a different facility. We had a different facility who was willing to take him. We had a doctor who was willing to take over his care, and the hospital probably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting us to keep him in the hospital. 

That’s what I call a hospital kidnapping case. It doesn’t make any sense. If you’re the patient and your wishes are that you don’t want them to treat you anymore, why can’t you make that decision in a free country? It’s supposed to be a business. You’re just a customer, right? But wasn’t what was happening.

Mr. Jekielek:

So more and more…

Mr. Childers:

More and more law firms are getting involved. I maintain a database of what we call our allied attorneys. When we become aware of an attorney or a law firm that has litigated one of these, what I call a freedom case, then we contact them, and if they agree, we add them to the list. We’ve got basically a referral network in almost every state in the country now. When we get someone calling us from Michigan, and I’m not licensed to practice in Michigan, I can’t help them effectively. We’ve got a list of attorneys in Michigan who we know for a fact will take these cases. I should be able to refer them to any law firm. Any competent lawyer should be able to help these folks, but many lawyers won’t. That was a problem at the beginning, but like I said, it’s so encouraging that more and more lawyers are joining the fight.

Mr. Jekielek:

Do you feel free to say how many freedom lawyers there are now?

Mr. Childers:

It’s so many that I lost count, or I stopped tracking it—hundreds and hundreds. Most of them are small practitioners like I am. There’s a very simple explanation for that. Again, these are lawyers who don’t have historical connections with government. I never litigated against the government or for the government. I don’t care if they don’t send me any business. I never got any business from them. Other larger firms have to make that calculation, so it’s the small lawyers that saved us.

Mr. Jekielek:

You’re saying you’re expecting there to be accountability. That’s interesting. There’s a lot of people out there who are what you’d call black pilled. They just don’t expect there to ever be any accountability. What do you have to say to them?

Mr. Childers:

First of all, I understand how they feel. It’s incredibly frustrating what’s happened. It’s so obvious to many people what happened was wrong. And again, in the old world that we used to live in, people who did things that were wrong were arrested, and were tried. Maybe they could get off on a technicality, an OJ defense or something. But at least they had to go through the process. 

What we’ve seen in the last two years is that every major institution in this country has closed ranks to protect those wrongdoers. And it seems overwhelming. How could you possibly overcome the universities, the federal government, the state, local county dog catcher, all working together to prevent anybody from having to be accountable? How can you overcome that? So, that is a legitimate concern. But that’s not how justice works. That’s not how history works.

It has only been two years. Now, two years seems like a long time when you’re in the middle of it. When you’re in the war, two years on the front lines, that is a long time. But it’s not a long time in historical sense. There are any number of great old slogans about it. But the wheels of justice move slowly, but they eventually will get there. I’ll give you a tangible example. 

When I first started litigating in this area with these COVID cases, your rank and file judge didn’t want to hear anything about it. They were totally closed-minded. When I filed my first mask lawsuit, I expected to lose at the trial court, because I’m asking a person, an individual just like you and me, their job is to be a judge. They have to run for election. What judge in the summer of 2020 wanted to be the anti-mask judge? That’s throwing your career away. That’s what they were hearing from their peers.

But now when I go into court before a judge, I have at least an open mind. That’s a sea change from where we were. It’s completely different. I got an oral ruling from a federal judge in Pensacola division. I won’t say his name to embarrass him, but he called out this hospital that we were suing for their totally irrational vaccine mandate. Now, he didn’t give me the relief that I wanted, but he went on and on about how disgusted he was about it and how unpleasant and irrational the policy was. I couldn’t have got that the first year of the pandemic. So I feel like we’re on a trajectory. I almost got there with that judge, and I got enough. Well, what about next year?

I study the news related to COVID every morning because I write a blog about it. So, I’m pretty well informed about current events. And what we’re seeing is that while the government could gain the scientific literature for a while at the beginning, they’ve lost control of that now. You know this. 

Study after study after study now are critical, for example, of the vaccines. Study after study after study are critical of the masking. There is a great wait, and it’s just one little study at a time on some narrow issue. But when you add them all up, there’s a body of scholarship forming that’s outside the control of the government. They don’t have enough officials to control all of that.

When I go into court next year, I’m going to have even more ammunition. When I started, I had nothing to work with. It was brand new. It was all just people’s hypotheses and what Dr. Fauci said. Now I can point to this study and this study and this study and this study until I get tired. So we are going to get there. 

There will be accountability. I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take. I can tell you that these things tend to drag out. We’re up against a very well-organized, well-resourced opponent. They are not going to give in easily. They’re going to slow it down however they can. But it is coming. It is a force that is so large and heavy and unstoppable. They cannot hold it back forever. We will get accountability.

Mr. Jekielek:

Jeff Childers, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the show.

Mr. Childers:

Thank you. I really enjoyed it.

Mr. Jekielek:

Thank you all for joining Jeff Childers and I on this episode of American Thought Leaders. I’m your host, Jan Jekielek.

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