Editor’s Commentary: I greatly appreciate the spot-on reporting by Fred Lucas. He is a stellar journalist who is as unbiased as they come, a rare quality in the world of modern American journalism.
With that said, it must be stated with unambiguous clarity that this move by the Biden regime is one of the most heinous to date, and that’s saying a lot. It bodes ill for all Americans to know that the federal government is actively engaging in cataloguing and classifying people based on their medical situations and religious beliefs. There is no viable explanation for this other than to build an “enemies list” that our government can use.
When and where does this stop? The answer is crystal clear. It doesn’t. Employees of government agencies have always been the first test in any nefarious plan by any government throughout history because of their inherent compliance. They have engaged in a career path that is enticing for the long term and are often taken advantage of because of their willful acceptance of what unscrupulous government officials want to do with them. This is a much bigger deal than anyone seems to be realizing. Pay attention, folks. Here’s Fred’s article…
The Commerce Department is going to keep a record of all employees seeking a medical exemption from President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, under a proposed regulation.
The new rule, placed on the Federal Register on Tuesday, will be the subject of public comment until March 28. The proposal comes as the Biden administration considers keeping a list of workers who apply for religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate for federal employees.
The Commerce Department has about 47,000 employees and an $11.4 billion annual budget. The new rule would undermine the personal freedom of federal employees, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., a critic of federal COVID-19 policies, said.
“As I have said repeatedly, these pointless vaccine mandates are a direct violation of the personal freedom of Americans,” Johnson told The Daily Signal in a written statement. “Treating COVID-19 medical exemptions as ‘disability accommodations’ shows how little the Biden administration and the COVID gods value liberty and informed consent.”
No one should be coerced or pressured into receiving any medical treatment, and putting federal employees who seek medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine on a list and labeling their private medical decisions degrades the health autonomy of all federal employees.
In the short term, the Biden administration’s move might be a moot point as a federal judge last week blocked the administration from enforcing the president’s executive order that every federal worker must be vaccinated.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, who has pushed an effort in Congress to defund vaccine mandates, also criticized the Commerce Department rule.
“First it was tracking religious dissenters, now it is those who—for the best interest of their health—are advised not to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Roy told The Daily Signal in a written statement, adding:
This is just the latest addition to the ever-growing list of abuses from an administration hellbent on imposing medical tyranny on the American people. No Republican should vote to fund this. We’ll find out next month how many of them are willing to stand up for freedom and how many will let this kind of thing continue.
Guidelines from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, used by federal agencies, puts the processing of exemption applications on hold while an executive order has been enjoined.
The Daily Signal first reported Jan. 11 that the Biden administration was testing a policy at a small federal agency, the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia, that likely would serve as a model for government-assembled lists of Americans who object to taking the COVID-19 vaccines on religious grounds.
Four days later, The Daily Signal reported that 18 other federal agencies are considering doing so.
The Supreme Court on Jan. 13 rejected a Biden administration mandate requiring all private employers with 100 or more workers to make sure those employees are vaccinated or undergo regular tests for COVID-19. However, the high court upheld the administration’s vaccine mandate for employees of health care facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid.
In a separate action, Biden imposed the vaccine mandate on federal employees and contractors.
The Commerce Department’s proposed rule states:
Requests for ‘medical accommodation’ or ‘medical exceptions’ will be treated as requests for a disability accommodation and evaluated and decided under applicable Rehabilitation Act standards for reasonable accommodation absent undue hardship to the agency.
According to the Federal Register, the process continues with two steps at the Commerce Department, explaining:
The agency will be required to keep confidential any medical information provided, subject to the applicable Rehabilitation Act standards. This medical exemption form is necessary for Commerce to determine legal exemptions to the vaccine requirement under the Rehabilitation Act. The form ‘Request for a Medical Exception to the COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement’ will be completed by employees who seek a medical exception to the federal employee vaccine mandate, and by their personal medical providers.
To request a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, an employee must complete Part 1 of the medical exemption form and their medical provider must complete Part 2. The [department’s] reasonable accommodation coordinators would receive this form from the requester and use it to make a recommendation to the supervisor based on the medical information provided in the form.
This development should concern liberals, libertarians, and conservatives, said Cully Stimson, deputy director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, which is the parent organization of The Daily Signal.
“This means, in other words, the government will list every single person claiming a medical exemption,” Stimson told The Daily Signal. “Everyone who pushes back against this government overreach, even if a doctor says they can’t take the vaccine, will be part of a list, which is really creepy.”
Stimson said the Commerce Department probably will be a model for the rest of the federal government in adding the requirement.
He noted that the provision says that once an employee fills out the form, the “reasonable accommodation coordinators” within the Commerce Department would use the form “to make a recommendation to the supervisor based on the medical information provided in the form.”
A spokesperson from the Commerce Department did not respond to The Daily Signal’s phone and email inquiries Wednesday for this report.
Collecting certain information is necessary, but employee privacy will be protected, an Office of Management and Budget spokesperson told The Daily Signal.
“To process an employee’s medical exception, agencies need to collect certain information, including, for example, the employee’s name, the request for an exception and, if they are provided one, that they have been granted an exception,” the OMB spokesperson said in an email, adding:
In order to comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act, agencies explain to employees why they are collecting the information, what information is being collected, and how that information will be used. This is the case for any personally identifiable information an agency collects, including employment applications, workers’ compensation claims, and the like.
The Pretrial Services Agency will begin storing names and “personal religious information” of employees who make “religious accommodation requests for religious exemption from the federally mandated vaccination requirement,” Sarah Parshall Perry and GianCarlo Canaparo, legal fellows with Heritage’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, wrote in their Jan. 11 article in The Daily Signal breaking the news on the pilot program.
Perry and Canaparo followed up Jan. 15 by reporting that 18 other federal agencies were considering making similar lists of religious objectors to the vaccine mandate.
This week, 41 House Republicans signed onto a letter to Biden accusing his administration of targeting Americans who seek religious exemptions, The Daily Signal’s Mary Margaret Olohan first reported.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!