A Manhattan judge has suspended a Long Island father’s visitation with his toddler daughter unless he submits COVID-19 tests on a weekly basis or gets vaccinated—despite the man already having contracted the virus.
“Here, in-person parental access by defendant is not in the child’s best interests, and there are exceptional circumstances that support its suspension,” wrote Justice Matthew Cooper in a case involving the father’s divorce and custody dispute over his 3-year-old daughter, according to the New York Post.
Cooper also wrote that that the “dangers of voluntarily remaining unvaccinated during access with a child while the COVID-19 virus remains a threat to children’s health and safety cannot be understated.” The names of the father, mother, and daughter weren’t revealed in the order.
But the father’s lawyer, Lloyd Rosen, told the Post on Oct. 14 that the father was previously infected with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19, arguing that the man has natural immunity and doesn’t need the vaccine. Several studies, including a landmark research paper from Israeli researchers in late August, have found that natural immunity provides robust and long-term protection against the CCP virus, and in some cases, it’s superior to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.
“My client is not a conspiracy theorist,” Rosen said. “He has concerns about the vaccine. He’s heard about side effects. He once had a bad reaction to a flu vaccine.
“This judge must feel that 80 million Americans who aren’t vaccinated are placing their children at imminent risk of harm and, therefore, the courts should intervene and remove those children from their parents. This is an absurd position to take.”
Evan Schein, the mother’s lawyer, praised the judge’s ruling.
“It’s an incredibly important one that highlights the extraordinary times we are living in and reinforces that a child’s best interests are paramount,” Schein told the Post.
In September, Schein had raised concerns about the father’s vaccination status. Cooper then claimed that inoculation is now a requirement to “participate meaningfully in everyday society” and pointed to controversial vaccine mandates for various professions.
New York mandated earlier in 2021 that people have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, bars, theaters, and similar businesses. The New York state government recently mandated that health care workers have to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or face suspension, although a federal judge issued a temporary ruling last week allowing the workers to skip the shots if they apply for religious exemptions.
Rosen didn’t respond to a request for additional comment by press time.