PASADENA, Calif.—About 20 employees at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a NASA field center, in Pasadena, California, protested the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Nov. 1.
Last month, President Joe Biden signed an order that requires the vast majority of federal contractors to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, 2021. Employees seeking exemption must submit one by Nov. 8.
Taylor Ingram, a business administrator at JPL, told The Epoch Times there are no clear guidelines on how the exemption forms will be evaluated.
“They have not been clear on the process for who’s going to review them, how long it’s going to take, and how they’re qualifying or quantifying that information,” Ingram said. “As many as 1,000 employees at JPL could lose their jobs.”
“We’re not against the vaccines. We’re not against people’s right to choose to take the vaccine, but we are against the coercion of having to get the vaccine in order to work.”
Todd Jones, a scientist who has been working at JPL for 31 years in a microdevices laboratory, was holding a 10-foot metal syringe with various things in the syringe representing unknown COVID-19 vaccine ingredients.
“We’ve been working at JPL in the pandemic for a year and a half, just fine doing routine testing,” Jones told The Epoch Times.
Jones doesn’t trust any of the existing COVID-19 vaccines because they haven’t been tested for long-term effects.
Caleb Macy, an engineering technician who works on building antennas to receive communication from spacecraft, told The Epoch Times: “Everything that you introduce to your body, your body has to take and adjust to it and fight it. That’s creating more work for you more beating down your immune system.”
“Medical freedom is very important for everyone. We are headed down a very dark path in this country. It was clear that JPL only cares about one thing and that’s pushing this vaccine and pushing us to do something that goes against our conscience,” Macy said.
Virginia Ford, an optomechanical engineer at JPL, said firing unvaccinated people is very anti-American.
“It’s cruel. It’s been implemented very wrongly and cruelly,” Ford told The Epoch Times.
Charlyn Hiebert, a pastor at Harvest International Ministries and a former operating room nurse, showed up to support her friend, a geologist at JPL. She told The Epoch Times that terminating employees who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine violates constitutional rights.
“I believe in free choice. I am going to stand for the American people.”