A UC Irvine School of Medicine doctor who filed a federal lawsuit claiming natural immunity over the university’s COVID-19 vaccine authorization has been fired for denying the vaccine.
Dr Aaron Kheriaty, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the medical school and director of the medical ethics program at UCI Health, revealed in a blog post that he was terminated on December 16. After nearly 15 years working at the university.
“Two years ago, I could never have imagined that the university would fire me and other doctors, nurses, faculty, staff and students for this arbitrary and capricious reason,” he said. write in the post. “Everybody at university seemed to be a fan of my work until suddenly they weren’t.
“Once I challenge one of their policies, I immediately become a ‘threat to the health and safety of the community.’ There is no experimental evidence for natural immunity or vaccine safety and efficacy. The university’s leadership is not interested in scientific debates or ethical considerations. “
UCI officials declined to discuss Kheriaty’s firing, and UC system officials did not respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit was dismissed
Kheriaty, 45 years old, File a lawsuit in August in the United States District Court against the University of California Board of Trustees and Michael V. Drake, the system’s president, to stop the immunization mandate and seek to return to work unvaccinated. strains. He also asked the court to declare the task unconstitutional.
“This policy is irrational and cannot withstand close surveillance or even reasonable baseline testing because individuals who are naturally immune, like the plaintiff, are at least more immune to or better against the virus that causes COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals,” the lawsuit states.
U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna ruled against Kheriaty on December 8, declaring the UC system’s vaccine mandate to be “reasonably relevant” to preventing the spread of coronavirus. COVID-19.
Kheriaty appealed her ruling to the US Court of Appeals for Track No. 9. Kheriaty said: “There are a number of legal questions the court needs to answer about the limits of the mandate in the cases. public health emergency.
Kheriaty is a staunch opponent of the UC system’s vaccine mandate and has written several opinion articles on the subject for the Wall Street Journal and other publications.
“Forcing people with natural immunity to vaccinate would lead to unnecessary risks without commensurate benefits – for individuals or entire populations – and a violation of human rights,” he said. Their rights are guaranteed under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution,” he said.
Freedom to choose
In an interview on Thursday, December 30, Kheriaty said he is not opposed to a COVID-19 vaccine, but believes that individuals should have the right to decide whether to receive it.
The UC system adopted a policy in July requiring, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty, and staff be immunized against the coronavirus before they are allowed on campus, in premises or offices. Individuals are required to present proof of vaccination.
The policy states: “Employees who choose not to have immunizations, and who are not granted waivers, accommodations, or delays, may endanger the health of others and may face disciplinary action. the law.
Kheriaty said the policy has been updated since then to require COVID-19 booster vaccinations for students, faculty and staff.
Kheriaty’s lawsuit claims that his exposure to COVID-19 in 2019 gave him better immunity to the virus than people who were vaccinated.
“Natural immunity prevents the virus from being able to replicate and spread in the body of a naturally immunized person,” the complaint says. By contrast, it says the COVID-19 vaccine seems to relieve symptoms in some people but still allows the vaccinated person to contract and transmit the virus.
The lawsuit also cites a reported July 17 email from a UCI dean to medical school faculty members and residents that said there had been a significant increase in “breakthrough infections” among care workers. health of the university is vaccinated.
‘Dizzy and surreal’
Meanwhile, Kheriaty said UC system officials refused to allow him to use accrued paid leave after he was suspended without pay in October.
“That means, I’ve been ordered to stay out of school because I’m not vaccinated, but I can’t stay home because I’m unvaccinated,” he said in the blog post. “In violation of all basic principles of fair and equitable employment, the university attempted to prevent me from performing any outside professional activities during my unpaid suspension.
“In an attempt to pressure me to resign, they wanted to limit my ability to earn income not only at university but also outside of university. It’s dizzying and sometimes surreal.”
Still, Kheriaty said he’s not bitter, even as UC system officials maintain his dismissal is unrelated to his lawsuit.
“The people at UCI that I worked with weren’t really responsible for my firing, they were taking orders from the UC president’s office,” he said. “For the people at the top level (of the UC system), I think what they are doing is profoundly wrong. I am moving forward and moving on and looking for other professional opportunities. ”
https://www.sbsun.com/2021/12/30/uc-system-fires-physician-who-challenged-covid-19-vaccine-mandate-in-lawsuit/ UC System Fires Doctor Who Opposes COVID-19 Vaccine Authorization in Lawsuit – San Bernardino Sun