Miss a day, miss a lot. Subscribe to The Defender's Top News of the Day. It's free.
Children’s Health Defense (CHD) along with 18 students on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court against Rutgers University, 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.
According to the complaint, the Rutgers vaccine requirement “is an affront to human dignity and personal freedom because it violates our basic right to control our bodies.”
The lawsuit states that in a free society, “all people have the right to decide their own medical treatment — especially to decide what to inject into their bodies. And every person has the right to make that decision voluntarily, free from coercion by anyone, and to be fully informed of the benefits and especially the risks of that decision.”
The lawsuit alleges Rutgers’ policy is a violation of the right to informed consent and the right to refuse unwanted medical treatments.
The complaint also alleges the policy is a breach of contract because in January 2021, the university assured students COVID vaccines would not be required in order to attend school. Just two months later, Rutgers flip-flopped and issued new requirements for taking the shot prior to attending classes.
According to the plaintiffs, 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 the shots which, until fully licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are defined by the FDA as experimental.
The Rutgers requirement also constitutes a denial of equal protection, as administration, faculty and staff are not required to take the vaccine. It also conflicts with federal and state law, as neither has enacted legislation requiring COVID vaccines for citizens.
“This mandate undermines our Constitution and Bill of Rights by denying students the freedom to make their own medical decisions,” said CHD President and General Counsel Mary Holland.
“No one should be forced or coerced into accepting any medical procedure against her wishes,” Holland said. “When the low risk to young adults from COVID and the known and unknown risks from the vaccines are taken into account, Rutgers’ actions recklessly endanger its students.”
As confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young people are at minimal risk of long-term effects or death from COVID and have a 99.985% survival rate if infected with the virus.
However, the most recent COVID vaccination injury update from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) — one of the tracking systems of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — shows that between mid-December, 2020 and August 6, 2021, 559,040 adverse events were reported to VAERS, including 12,791 reports of deaths, many in young people ages 12 to 25.
In comparison, after approximately 50 total deaths following swine flu vaccination in 1976, that vaccine campaign was immediately aborted.
“The Rutgers mandate stems from the financial relationship the university has with the vaccine makers which is clearly a conflict of interest,” said New Jersey Attorney Julio Gomez, who represents the students.
“Unjustified fear and insatiable greed drive the vaccine industry, especially now, during the pandemic,” Gomez said. “This has created an opportunity for manufacturers to bring to market expensive, novel and patentable drugs, vaccines, biologics, treatments and medical devices that will reap huge profits.”
Rutgers student Peter Cordi, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said it is “ incredibly unnerving” that his own school would play Russian Roulette with the lives of the students it claims to protect, “with greed and ties to Big Pharma being prioritized over our safety and free will.”
In addition to Gomez, plaintiffs are represented by New Jersey Attorney Susan Judge of Scotch Plains, with support from attorneys Mary Holland and Ray Flores, special counsel to CHD.