The largest group of government workers to demand that President Joe Biden rescind his COVID-19 vaccine mandate has gotten behind the effort of a State Department employee, the Washington Examiner reported Friday.
More than 6,000 federal workers have joined the Feds 4 Medical Freedom movement started by Marcus Thornton, a political officer within the State Department. They're unified in fighting Biden's executive order that required the roughly 4 million government workers and contractors to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, 2021.
Thornton, a former Border Patrol agent within the Department of Homeland Security, realized he was not the only person unwilling to get vaccinated after speaking with fellow State Department employees and Border Patrol agents from his nine years assigned to El Paso, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
A federal judge in Texas last week issued a nationwide ruling that blocked Biden's mandate. The Department of Justice said it will appeal the decision.
In the meantime, Feds 4 Medical Freedom is fighting for the federal employees.
"We realized that nobody else was standing up for federal employees in court," Thornton told the Examiner. "Usually, this would be handled by the unions, but for whatever reason, this time they've chosen to abandon their employees and stand in solidarity with the employer.
"With Border Patrol agents, you think about the fact that over the last two years, with a huge influx of migrants on the southern border that we're experiencing right now, a large number of those individuals are COVID positive, and so almost all of these agents have been exposed in the line of duty to COVID. Many of them already have had COVID and have acquired natural immunity that way."
The Federal Practice Group in Washington answered the call from Thornton and colleagues who had been seeking law firms to take their case. Since then, approximately 2,000 people reached out to Thornton about being represented, the Examiner said.
"If they're ultimately forced to a point where the choice is between their career or being forced to take this vaccination against their convictions, they would give up their careers. And none of us want that," Thornton told the Examiner. "All we want is to be allowed to continue to do our jobs the way that we've been doing them for the last two years."
Promoting Feds 4 Medical Freedom has been challenging, as social media and technology companies have censored or banned pages about the organization.
Facebook shut down the organization's page multiple times, though Feds 4 Medical Freedom has successfully appealed the decisions. Still, the group is prohibited from posting advertisements on either Facebook or Instagram.
"Censorship is never good," Thornton told the Examiner. "These are very complicated questions with regards to how we address the coronavirus, and there should be a rigorous public debate on those. Unfortunately, right now, that's not what we have."
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