Judge orders Navy commander seeking vax exemption to remain in charge of ship despite DOD objection
Defense Department has appealed the judge's ruling to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
A federal judge has ruled against the Defense Department and the agency's attempted to strip a Navy commander of his authority over a warship while he seeks a Religious Accommodation Request from the military's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Judge Steven Merryday, of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, last week denied the Pentagon's request for a stay of the court's preliminary injunction in Navy SEAL 1 v. Austin.
A Navy commodore had stated in the DOD's court filing that he had "lost confidence" in the commander over his decision to not get vaccinated.
However, in another sworn declaration, the commodore said that he had instead lost confidence in the commander "because he went 'out of area' to defend his religious freedom in a Florida federal court hearing," according to Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit group that supports litigation related to evangelical Christian values.
Liberty Counsel also said the "out of area" leave had been previously approved by the commodore.
In a different sworn declaration, the commodore argued that as a result of his loss of confidence in the commander, the warship that he oversaw wouldn't be deployable. But when this declaration was filed, the commander was out to sea with his ship for two weeks conducting drills.
The commander last week testified in court on matter along with military Drs. Pete Chambers, Theresa Long and Stewart Tankersley.
Chambers, who is a Purple Heart recipient and a Texas National Guardsman, was a service member for 29 years and a Green Beret surgeon. He planned on retiring in 2023 until he developed demyelination after getting the Moderna vaccine.
Demyelination is a condition that affects the central nervous system.
Following the injury, Chambers met Long and they reviewed the DOD's Defense Medical Epidemiology Database, which is similar to the federal government's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
They found that other service members had also developed demyelination after receiving COVID vaccinations.
Chambers was ordered to get soldiers vaccinated and told that Religious Accommodation Requests would be denied.
He also told the court that the vaccines were not effective in preventing infection, considering about 75-80% of double-vaccinated service members got infected, compared to about 15% who remained unvaccinated.
Long, a flight surgeon who is specially trained in DMED, testified in court that the night before the hearing, she was ordered by high-level command to not discuss what she found in the military medical data.
"I have so many soldiers being destroyed by this vaccine," she said. "Not a single member of my senior command has discussed my concerns with me. I have nothing to gain and everything to lose by talking about it. I'm OK with that because I am watching people get absolutely destroyed."
Long also said she knew of at least two people who had committed suicide because of the pressure to get vaccinated and the threatened punishment for their refusal.
She also stated that based on information from the VAERS database, military member deaths from the vaccine exceeded COVID deaths.
As of last week, there were at least 93 military member deaths from COVID. But according to VAERS, there have been 113 from the COVID vaccine, Liberty Counsel told Just the News.
Tankersley, also a flight surgeon, testified that he treated more than 200 COVID patients, none of whom died from the disease.
"I've never seen anything like this in the military or civilian world – the lack of dialogue, the suppression of scientific dialogue," he said.
Tankersley also said the vaccines are neither safe nor effective in treating COVID. However, nasal rinsing and ivermectin are both safe and effective treatments.
He also argued the mRNA vaccines have a Lipid Nanoparticle (LNP) that is used as a delivery mechanism because RNA quickly degrades without being encased in it. As a result, inflammation is caused by that combination and inhibits the natural immune system since it bypasses it.
The Defense Department has appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal's decision, in an attempt to stop Merryday's preliminary injunction of the vaccine mandate for the Navy commander and the Marine lieutenant colonel.
Liberty Counsel also filed a response, arguing that the Pentagon's motion should be denied since it has not met the requirements for obtaining a stay as Religious Accommodation Requests continue to be denied.