Federal workers who have recovered from COVID-19 have filed a class-action lawsuit against Dr. Anthony Fauci and other government officials over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate that still forces them to get a jab.
The government not only failed to offer a carve-out exemption for naturally immune workers, or those who have recovered, but neither President Joe Biden’s executive order nor the guidance explaining it outlines why naturally acquired immunity isn’t an acceptable alternative to vaccination, the lawsuit states.
“Because they already have natural immunity, there is no coherent purpose for the federal government to require them to undertake a medical procedure to be vaccinated if they choose not to, or be terminated from their employment, their careers,” Robert Henneke, general counsel at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and one of the lawyers representing the government workers, told The Epoch Times.
Plaintiffs say the mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which allows courts to overturn government actions deemed “arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion.”
They quoted Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner who now sits on the board of Pfizer. During recent television appearances, Gottlieb described natural immunity as “durable” and “robust” and said that government officials should start assimilating it into policy discussions. They also cited Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, an immunologist who has said it is medically unnecessary for the recovered to get vaccinated.
Dozens of studies have shown that people who survived COVID-19 have strong immunity against re-infection from the virus that causes it, with some indicating the protection is similar to or higher than that provided by vaccines.
Workers tried communicating concerns about the mandate but those “have completely fallen on deaf ears, which is why we’ve turned to litigation,” Henneke said.
“I think it’s clear that the Biden administration, the federal government, is entrenched in their position on this. And so further negotiation would be pointless and instead we’re going to seek assistance from the courts,” he added.
The deadline for federal workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine was effectively Nov. 8, because people aren’t considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after they’ve received their final jab. Agencies were able to begin disciplining unvaccinated workers on Nov. 9, according to Kiran Ahuja, an administration official.
The suit asks the federal court in Galveston, Texas, to declare the mandate a violation of the plaintiffs’ rights and arbitrary and capricious and relieve workers from complying with it.
Defendants named include Fauci, the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Jeffrey Zients, who coordinates the White House COVID-19 response team.
The institute and the White House did not respond to requests for comment. The centers declined to comment.
Federal health officials have recently acknowledged natural immunity exists but continue insisting it is inferior to the protection conferred by vaccines. They also say people who have recovered from COVID-19 can still benefit from vaccination.