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Five people injured by COVID-19 vaccines, along with a father whose 16-year-old son died from vaccine-induced cardiac arrest, are suing the Biden administration and top U.S. public health officials.
In a lawsuit filed Monday, the plaintiffs — including Brianne Dressen who suffered severe nerve damage after taking the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine — allege the U.S. government colluded with social media companies to censor them when they posted stories about their personal vaccine injury experiences.
Defendants include President Biden and top-ranking White House officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
This is the first lawsuit brought by U.S. citizens injured by the COVID-19 vaccines, Dressen tweeted:
First lawsuit brought by US Covid vax injured…
I have never sued anyone in my life… might as well start with POTUS, US Surgeon General, CDC, etc. https://t.co/6ttmmH3ZUU
Honored to join with @rgvrunner01 @ResearcherNP @NikkiAnne2016 @SuzannaNewell Kristi Dobbs
— Brianne Dressen (@BrianneDressen) May 22, 2023
Dressen — a preschool teacher from Saratoga Springs, Utah — volunteered to participate in AstraZeneca’s clinical trial for its COVID-19 shot. Now, she says, she is “collateral damage of the pandemic.”
Dressen co-chairs React19, a “science-based non-profit offering financial, physical, and emotional support for those suffering from longterm COVID-19 vaccine adverse events globally.”
After receiving the AstraZeneca shot, Dressen experienced extensive adverse effects — including doubled and blurry vision, severe sensitivity to sound and light, heart and blood pressure fluctuations and intense brain fog — that worsened over time.
She said Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, GoFundMe, Reddit and Instagram removed content she posted about her injuries.
According to Dressen, the plaintiffs’ experiences of censorship “pale in comparison to the thousands of Americans we know who all have experienced the same thing.”
“There is nothing scarier than reaching out for help only to be silenced,” Dressen told The Defender. “It was as scary as the vaccine reaction itself.
“Our constitutional freedoms must be protected, regardless of whether or not we are in a national emergency,” Dressen added.
Dressen — who now experiences “permanent disability” with “ups and downs” — said she and the other plaintiffs are “not fighting this fight for a select few” but are fighting on behalf of the “tens of thousands who are experiencing the same kind of censorship.”
The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) filed the suit on behalf of Dressen and the other plaintiffs, who include Kristi Dobbs, Nikki Holland, Suzanna Newell and Ernest Ramirez.
All but Ramirez experienced COVID-19 vaccine-related injuries. Ramirez received the Moderna vaccine with no adverse effect — but his 16-year-old son died of vaccine-induced cardiac arrest five days after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
Newell is a former triathlete from St. Paul, Minnesota, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease after she got the vaccine and who now relies on a walker or cane to get around.
Case challenges ‘shocking’ government mass-censorship
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs experienced “heavy and ongoing censorship” on social media platforms — including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and GoFundMe — “when they attempted to share “ their personal experiences after they, or a loved one, were medically harmed after taking the vaccine.”
For instance, TikTok on multiple occasions removed Holland’s video posts in which she shared her personal experiences related to her COVID-19 vaccine-related injuries and recovery process.
TikTok said the videos violated “Community Guidelines” for posting “violent and graphic content” and for “integrity and authenticity” concerns.
According to the complaint:
“This case challenges the government’s mass-censorship program and the shocking role that it has played (and still plays) in ensuring that disfavored viewpoints deemed a threat to its agenda are suppressed.
“This sprawling censorship enterprise has involved the efforts of myriad federal agencies and government actors (including within the White House itself) to direct, coerce, and, ultimately, work in concert with social media platforms to censor, muffle, and flag as ‘misinformation’ speech that conflicts with the government’s preferred narrative — including speech that the government explicitly acknowledges to be true.”
Kim Mack Rosenberg, the Children Health Defense’s (CHD) acting outside general counsel, said the new lawsuit is important because it exists “at the intersection” of COVID-19 vaccine injury and COVID-19 censorship.
“The complaint here alleges — as have other cases — a massive censorship program to control the narrative and promote the government’s COVID-19 propaganda,” Mack Rosenberg told The Defender.
“Silencing those who have been injured, like the plaintiffs in this case, by the very product promoted — and in some cases mandated — by the government is particularly egregious and causes further, albeit, different injury to those individuals, whose First Amendment rights have also been violated.
“Moreover, censoring these injured individuals injures the public, depriving them of important information and discourse on these issues.”
Missouri and Louisiana in May 2022 filed a landmark lawsuit against top-ranking Biden administration officials for allegedly colluding with social media giants to suppress free speech on topics like COVID-19 and election security.
Former Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is now a state senator, alleges the Biden administration led “the largest speech censorship operation in recent history” by working with social media companies to suppress and censor information later acknowledged as truthful.”
In March, CHD Chairman on Leave Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and CHD filed a class action lawsuit against Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top administration officials and federal agencies, alleging they “waged a systematic, concerted campaign” to compel the nation’s three largest social media companies to censor constitutionally protected speech, including facts and opinions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Commenting on the new lawsuit, Peggy Little, senior litigation counsel for NCLA, said in a statement:
“Americans injured by experimentally approved Covid vaccines are being deplatformed, silenced, suppressed, defamed and cancelled by their own government for reaching out to others simply to share and receive information critical to their physical and mental well-being.”
“Government actors have bullied, threatened and coerced social media companies to strip these plaintiffs of their First Amendment rights of association and speech. Suppression of speech critical of the government by the very government actors mandating the vaccine is frightening.
“NCLA’s lawsuit seeks to restore these plaintiffs’ civil liberties and the free flow of information guaranteed by the First Amendment for all Americans. We must never again lose our constitutional bearings in a pandemic.”
Casey Norman, one of the NCLA lawyers representing Dressen and the other plaintiffs, agreed. He said that the government claims it suppresses “so-called misinformation” for the sake of “public safety and welfare.”
“Fortunately,” Norman added, “the First Amendment says otherwise: the government may neither censor our clients nor induce others to do so.”