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Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and plaintiff Adriana Pinto today filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against Rutgers University to prevent further coercion of Rutgers students as part of the university’s COVID vaccine mandate.

On Aug. 16, CHD along with 18 students filed a lawsuit in federal court against Rutgers, its board of governors, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and others over the university’s decision to mandate COVID vaccines for students attending school in the fall.

Last week, Rutgers blocked the accounts of unvaccinated students, including those registered only for fully remote classes in the upcoming fall semester — even though the express terms of Rutgers’ policy exempts students who are “fully remote” from the COVID vaccine mandate.

Rutgers apparently decided to enforce the mandate against remote students, and began blocking those students’ accounts on Aug. 26, unless they submit evidence of COVID-19 vaccination.

“In addition to its authoritarian nature, Rutgers’ action is completely nonsensical,” said CHD President and General Counsel Mary Holland. “Students attending classes remotely have no means whatsoever by which they could transmit any virus to others. And this is while faculty and staff are not subject to any mandate. This is just more evidence that the goal is complete control over medical decision-making — not infection control.”

The Aug. 16 complaint pointed out that Rutgers is working with all three manufacturers —  Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — to study and develop their vaccines in on-going clinical trials and will benefit financially if more people are required to take these experimental shots.

By blocking their online accounts, Rutgers will prevent unvaccinated students who are attending remotely from logging into their classes so that they can attend those classes via Zoom on Sept. 1, the first day of the fall semester.

Plaintiff Adriana Pinto, on whose behalf this temporary restraining order motion was filed, needs to take only one class to graduate. She registered to take that class remotely so she can complete her degree requirements without vaccination.

Rutgers has blocked her from its system. She seeks a temporary restraining order from the federal court enjoining Rutgers from doing so.

“This action by Rutgers is arbitrary and capricious because it is a deviation from the plain language of its own policy, has no relation to health and safety, and is intended to coerce more students and to punish them for exercising their right to informed consent and to refuse unwanted medical treatment,” said Julio Gomez, lead attorney in the case. “This coercion is totally unacceptable in what is supposed to be a free, democratic society.”