'Vaccine-hesitant' hospital workers vow to take case to Supreme Court

Capt. Gordon Wisbach, Naval Medical Center San Diego's Bio-skills Training and Simulation Center surgical director and one of the Virtual Medical Operation Center's most senior surgeons, center, prepares equipment in one of the hospital's operating rooms ahead of a surgical telementoring session, May 14, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jake Greenberg)

A federal judge in Texas dismissed a lawsuit by 117 hospital employees seeking to block their employer's COVID-19 mandate, but their attorney plans to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The employees of Houston Methodist Hospital argue they effectively are being forced to participate in a human drug trial, because the COVID-19 vaccines are allowed only under emergency use authorization. The estimated completion date for the trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, for example, is Jan. 31, 2023.

But U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruled Saturday that firing employees for refusing to take the shot would not amount to wrongful termination, the Epoch Times reported. Texas law protects an employee only if he or she is fired for refusing to perform an illegal act.

Hughes insisted the hospital is not participating in a human trial for the vaccines.

"Bridges says that she is being forced to be injected with the vaccine or be fired. This is not coercion," the judge said in her four-page opinion, referring to lead plaintiff Jennifer Bridges.

"Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus," Hughes said. "Bridges can freely choose to accept or refuse a COVID-19 vaccine; however, if she refuses, she will simply need to work somewhere else."

The judge reasoned that "part of the bargain" an employee makes in exchange for pay is agreeing to certain requirements and restrictions of the employer.

The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Jared Woodfill, told The Epoch Times before the ruling that he would appeal if the judge dismissed the case.

"We're taking it all the way Supreme Court," he said.

The hospital announced April 1 that all of its 25,000 employees must be vaccinated. The 178 workers who chose not to get a shot or were not fully vaccinated were suspended for 14 days without pay.

The hospital's CEO and president, Marc Boom, wrote an internal memo at the time charging the unvaccinated workers "have decided not to put their patients first." He warned that the suspended workers would be fired if they didn’t get fully vaccinated by the end of the suspension period.

Some employees were allowed to forgo vaccination for religious or medical reasons, such as pregnancy.

The 117 employees filed suit last month, contending they were forced to become "human 'guinea pigs' as a condition for continued employment."

A former hospital employee who is one of the patients, Bob Nevens, told The Epoch Times he was fired after asking to work from home or to wear a mask and maintain social distancing instead of getting a vaccine.

"I was a 10-year highly decorated employee who was very well respected until I made a decision to wait until these vaccines complete their clinical trials," he said.

The lead plaintiff Bridges, told The Epoch Times that many patients at the hospital have suffered adverse reactions after getting a shot. And some have become infected after they were fully vaccinated.

She concluded the risks don't outweigh the benefits.

"So we're not comfortable because we don't want to risk our lives or our future over getting this vaccine that doesn't even work," she said.

The Centers for Disease Control argues only a small percentage of people have suffered adverse effects such as heart inflammation and blood clots.

Bridges further argued that a growing body of research indicates people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus enjoy natural immunity.

"Most of us have already had COVID, so this vaccine does absolutely no good because we already have our own antibodies for it," she said.

Weighing the risks

A new study by the prestigious Cleveland Clinic backs that claim, contradicting the assertions of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the FDA.

There also is growing concern about potential adverse effects of the vaccines.

Dr. Peter McCullough, a prominent cardiologist, internist and professor of medicine has concluded getting the vaccine is too risky, taking into account the fact that most people have a 99% survival rate.

Last Thursday, the FDA's advisory panel met to discuss the rise in cardiac emergencies in healthy young people who have been vaccinated. The rate of myocarditis, inflamation of the heart, so far is more than twice what U.S. authorities anticipated.

A Tufts Medical School professor on the panel warned that "before we start vaccinating millions of adolescents and children, it's so important to find out what the consequences are."

Researchers in Israel found the incidence of myocarditis in vaccinated young men was 25 times the usual rate, and some of them died.

The two biggest vaccine monitoring systems in the U.S. – the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System, or VAERS, and the CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink – show strikingly high rates of myocarditis in young people who've been vaccinated.

Also on Thursday, Germany's scientific advisory committee on vaccinations recommended that young people under age 18 not receive COVID shots unless they have serious medical conditions that could make the disease riskier to them.

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'Vaccine-hesitant' hospital workers vow to take case to Supreme Court