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A Roman Catholic businessman and five Orthodox Jews, including a rabbi, are among 18 plaintiffs who are suing New York City Mayor Eric Adams and his commissioner of health over the city’s “Key to NYC” vaccine passport program.
Attorneys with the nonprofit Thomas More Society filed the lawsuit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, alleging the program is an “unprecedented abuse of power” in violation of the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The complaint slams the program as a “reckless, ill-conceived government policy that ignores sound medical science and the principle of informed consent to medical treatment.”
The plaintiffs, three of whom also sued on behalf of their minor children, objected to the COVID-19 vaccines on religious grounds.
Many religious objections to the vaccines cite the alleged use of fetal tissue related to their development. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain fetal cells, but fetal cell lines, which are grown in a lab from decades-old fetal tissue, were utilized in the research and development of the vaccines dispensed by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
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“Key to NYC,” which requires proof of vaccination for indoor dining, fitness and entertainment in New York City, was first implemented by former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, but Adams continues to enforce it.
In December, de Blasio’s office also said it is broadening the program to include 5 to 11-year-olds, who were required by Dec. 14 to show proof of one vaccination dose for those venues. New Yorkers aged 12 and older were required by Dec. 27 to show proof of two vaccine doses, instead of one, unless they received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Thomas More Society Special Counsel Christopher Ferrara said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital: “The intention and effect of ‘Key to NYC’ is to create a two-tiered society in the city of New York, in which those who decline to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be reduced to the status of second-class citizens, deprived of normal social life until they consent to injection.”
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in the history of country,” he added. “Tyranny in the name of COVID here reaches a new level.”
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Ferrara also noted that “Key to NYC” is replete with exemptions for certain groups and activities, including visiting pop stars, professional athletes and their entourages.
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“After all, the privileged vaccinated class cannot be deprived of their entertainment,” Ferrara said. “Yet these plaintiffs are deprived of basic human rights merely because they decline to be injected with vaccines that do not even prevent transmission of the virus, as everyone now knows.”