Miss a day, miss a lot. Subscribe to The Defender's Top News of the Day. It's free.

Employees Sue United Airlines Over COVID Vaccine Mandate

ABC Chicago News reported:

United Airlines is facing two separate lawsuits over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. One of the two lawsuits was filed in the U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas. In that suit, the employee alleges that their religious exemption was not accommodated.

Last week, before the mandate went into effect, six employees asked a federal judge to block the vaccination requirement.

Judges Let NYC Schools Proceed With Vax Mandate for Educators; Goes Into Effect Oct. 4

NBC New York News reported:

Hours before New York City’s vaccination mandate for Department of Education employees was scheduled to begin, federal judges ruled in the city’s favor and dissolved the temporary block that kept the city’s order on ice.

A three-judge panel had been scheduled to hear the case Wednesday, almost a week after the court granted a temporary injunction from a lone judge on Friday. Instead, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued its ruling Monday evening, in a move that shocked many, dissolving Friday’s injunction and denying the original motion.

83,000 Hospital Workers Could Be Fired as New York COVID Vaccine Mandate Goes Into Effect

CBS News reported:

New York’s state mandate ordering healthcare workers to get the COVID vaccine went into effect Monday at midnight.

Some hospital networks including Northwell Health have already fired more than two dozen healthcare workers. Others will have 30 days to get a COVID vaccine or lose their jobs. Officials say 16% of the state’s hospital workers are not fully vaccinated, which means more than 83,000 are at risk of termination.

Sixty Facebook Groups Focused on Ivermectin Discussion: Report

The Hill reported:

At least 60 public and private Facebook groups were focused on discussing ivermectin to treat COVID-19, according to left-leaning watchdog Media Matters for America, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. Of the groups, 25 were shut down after Media Matters flagged them to Facebook. The remaining groups, however, had nearly 70,000 members, the newspaper reports.

Aaron Simpson, a spokesperson for Facebook, told the Times that the platform removes content that “attempts to buy, sell or donate for ivermectin.”

N.C. Hospital System Fires About 175 Workers in One of the Largest-Ever Mass Terminations Due to a Vaccine Mandate

The Washington Post via MSN reported:

A North Carolina-based hospital system announced Monday that roughly 175 unvaccinated employees were fired for failing to comply with the organization’s mandatory coronavirus vaccination policy, the latest in a series of healthcare dismissals over coronavirus immunization.

Novant Health said last week that 375 unvaccinated workers — across 15 hospitals and 800 clinics — had been suspended for not getting immunized. Unvaccinated employees were given five days to comply.

‘The Big Delete:’ Inside Facebook’s Crackdown in Germany

Associated Press reported:

Days before Germany’s federal elections, Facebook took what it called an unprecedented step: the removal of a series of accounts that worked together to spread COVID-19 misinformation and encourage violent responses to COVID restrictions.

In the case of the German network, the nearly 150 accounts, pages and groups were linked to the so-called Querdenken movement, a loose coalition that has protested lockdown measures in Germany and includes vaccine and mask opponents, conspiracy theorists and some far-right extremists.

The Pandemic Is Testing the Limits of Face Recognition

MIT Technology Review reported:

Law enforcement and private businesses have used face recognition for years, but use of the technology in distributing government aid has expanded rapidly during the pandemic. States and federal agencies have turned to face recognition as a contactless, automated way of verifying the identity of people applying for unemployment and other public benefits.

Experts and activists worry that failures of this technology could prevent people from getting benefits they desperately need—and that it could be even more dangerous if it works as designed.

Nursing Students Drop Out to Escape Vaccine Mandate

Valley News reported:

As the state prepares to hire a recruiting firm to bring desperately needed healthcare workers to New Hampshire, some nursing students with safety concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine are leaving their nursing programs over vaccine mandates. A new state law prohibits most of their colleges from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine, but their clinical sites can — and most will have to under the new Biden administration vaccine mandate for health care settings.

“A critical healthcare workforce shortage is on the horizon in New Hampshire unless these healthcare organizations drop their rigid policies,” said Rep. Leah Cushman, a Weare, N.H., Republican who has proposed legislation that would require hospitals and other healthcare settings to accept exemption requests by clinical students. (The law requires them to consider medical and religious exemption requests, but Cushman said she’s been told they are being rejected without review.) “We can’t afford to stop new nurses from entering the field.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Blasts Facebook’s Removal of Her Campaign Page: ‘Big Tech Has Gotten Out of Hand’

Fox News reported:

Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey took a hardline approach to Big Tech this week, blasting Facebook over the temporary removal of her gubernatorial campaign page and accusing it of working alongside President Joe Biden’s administration to stop conservatives from speaking out on things like opposition to federal coronavirus vaccine mandates.

Speaking with Fox News Digital, Ivey reiterated she strongly supported Alabamians taking the vaccine, but continued to reject any attempts by the federal government to mandate vaccinations. She blamed her opposition to those mandates as the reason for Facebook taking action against her page – Facebook has called it a mistake – and declared that “Big Tech has gotten out of hand” in its attitude towards conservatives.

There Cannot Be Equity on Campus With Self-Censorship

The American Conservative reported:

A recent report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) on the state of free speech in higher education captures over 37,000 voices of currently-enrolled students at 159 colleges, revealing that free speech is not alive and well on our nation’s college and university campuses. The data paint a vivid and frightening picture of life on campus: Some students are more free to speak than others, and there is remarkable bias when it comes to partisanship. Students on the right of the political spectrum keep silent at considerably higher rates than those on the left, while factors like race and socioeconomic status do not really impact one’s ability to speak.

The FIRE report shows that censorship on campuses is quite high. More than half, 53 percent of students, report that they self-censor occasionally or more often. More than a fifth, 21 percent, of students say they silence themselves fairly or very often for fear of how students, a professor, or their school’s administration might respond. This is a horrifying finding, as colleges and universities are the spaces where dialogue and discourse should flow freely and ideas should be debated and challenged.

Sen. Mike Lee Introduces Bills to Stop Federal Vaccine Mandates

ABC News 4 reported:

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is working to stop the federal government from imposing COVID-19 vaccinations on federal workers and businesses with more than 100 employees. On September 23, Lee introduced nine bills into the senate as a response to President Biden’s vaccination mandates for federal employees and contractors.

The president is also directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to require businesses with more than 100 employees to require vaccinations or weekly testing for those who are unvaccinated.

Judge Blocks R.I. Firefighters Union’s Challenge of COVID Vaccine Mandate

MSN reported:

A Rhode Island Superior Court judge is blocking local firefighters’ attempts to challenge the state health department’s mandate for all healthcare workers, including EMTs, to be vaccinated by Oct. 1 or risk losing their jobs and licenses.

The Rhode Island Association of Firefighters had requested an injunction that would have halted enforcement, arguing that the vaccine mandate violates the firefighters’ collective bargaining agreements, which are protected by the Firefighters’ Arbitration Act, a state law that requires negotiation of employment terms and conditions.

Judge Melissa E. Darigan said the court did not think the vaccine mandate would impose a new working condition.