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SF Vaccine Holdout Hopes Lawsuit Will Prevail, But Anti-Science Arguments Make it a Longshot
Sunday, January 23, 2022

SF Vaccine Holdout Hopes Lawsuit Will Prevail, But Anti-Science Arguments Make it a Longshot

You might think a guy like Rob Geller would support the City and County of San Francisco’s vaccine mandate for employees. He is, after all, a 23-year-veteran of the Department of Public Health, an agency that has vigorously championed COVID-19 vaccines since they first came online in December of 2020.

But Geller hasn’t been jabbed since 1978, and the way he tells it, attempting to ward off disease with a deactivated virus or lab-grown strands of mRNA runs counter to his personal philosophy.

“I just feel like God provides for us,” Geller said at a weekly rally in front of City Hall, where around 20 ardent adversaries of the mandate join Geller every Tuesday to sing songs in defiance of what they believe to be a gross governmental overreach. 

“I really think people need to just take care of their immune systems,” Geller said. “Instead of yelling at people, we’re singing at them with a smile.” 

Rob Geller, a Department of Public Health employee of 23 years, holds a sign with a group of anti-vaccine mandate protestors outside City Hall on November 30, 2021. | Camille Cohen

Geller, who counts himself as a member of the “Sane Franciscans”—a local activist group opposed to vaccine mandates—originally sought exemption from his employer’s COVID requirement on religious grounds.

His request was denied. California has some of the tightest restrictions in the country when it comes to religious or philosophical exemptions to standard vaccines required of schoolchildren.

As far as medical exemptions go, San Francisco is following federal guidelines, which require applicants to meet a set of predetermined standards for a reasonable accommodation, according to Mawuli Tugbenyoh, chief of policy for the city’s department of human resources.

Those guidelines, outlined on the CDC’s website, say that a person may qualify for a medical exemption if they either have a severe allergic reaction to the first dose or they have a known allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine.

If an employee doesn’t meet those requirements, Tugbenyoh said, the city won’t be making an exception. Full stop.

“We aren’t going to displace vaccinated employees,” Tugbenyoh said, explaining that bringing those with and without the shot together would require social distancing measures and other accommodations that just aren’t realistic—especially considering “only a handful” of city employees remain unvaccinated: 622 of the 34,044 city’s employees have yet to comply with the mandate, Tugbenyoh said.

Geller is now holding out hope that a lawsuit, brought against the City and County of San Francisco by another group known as the SF Freedom Alliance, will prevail.

The lawsuit, which was initially filed late October, contends that San Francisco’s mandate, which went into effect on Nov. 1, violates the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The clause, which prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of “life, liberty or property without due process of law,” is often cited by opponents of new legislation.

Plaintiffs in the case, United SF Freedom Alliance vs the City and County of San Francisco, include employees from the San Francisco Fire Department, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the Sheriff’s Office and the San Francisco Police Department.

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Unfortunately for Geller, Dorit Reiss, the chair of litigation at UC Hastings Law, said that the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are unlikely to win the day. Reiis, who is also a member of the Vaccine Working Group—a group of legal professionals working to “address key policy challenges associated with the testing and distribution of vaccines”— said the Freedom Alliance’s complaint will probably fail because it hinges on arguments against the science that backs vaccines. Reiis noted that the city has precedent on its side: A recent Texas ruling, for example, upheld the right for employers to mandate vaccines for their employees. 

“What they’re claiming is, ‘You’re infringing on our liberty by requiring us to vaccinate for the job without a reasonable basis’ … The problem with that argument is that it’s only reasonable if you accept their claims that tried to challenge the science,” Reiis said. 

The lawsuit asserts that asymptomatic individuals infected with COVID-19 do not spread the virus, hospitals are inflating the case and death count, and that the vaccine presents a “significant level” of risk for physical injury.

“I would be surprised if this lawsuit goes anywhere, just because it’s not well argued,” Reiss said.

And so, while many of his colleagues are returning to the office, Geller continues to work from home. What’s more, his hours have been cut nearly in half as a result of his stance, and he worries that his job may be on the chopping block. Geller and the rest of the unvaccinated city employees are on administrative leave until their due process hearing takes place, according to the San Francisco department of human resources. 

“I’m not exactly sure what comes next,” said Geller, who currently manages a team of six in the DPH’s behavioral health department as a patient account supervisor. “I’m not allowed to go into my office right now because I’m deemed to be too dangerous … It kind of hurts.”

David Sjostedt can be reached at david@sfstandard.com.
  • Doit Reiis claims there is science supporting his, and the city’s, contention that unvaccinated people would be a threat to their double- and triple- vaccinated colleagues in the workplace, but no such science exists. It doesn’t even make sense. Do the vaccines work or not? Depriving workers of their jobs will not make the workplace any safer and is just a cruel coercion tactic.

    Good for people like this worker for standing up against the city’s clearly “arbitrary and capricious” mandate, as described by the Louisiana judge who just issued a federal injunction against the mandate for healthcare workers. Reiis is wrong: if the Constitution still means anything, these workers will prevail because they are being deprived of equal protection under the law.

    • Yes, I’m not seeing these individuals as science-critical; they are clearly advocating for their personal-belief rights under federal law. I know of no law, however, that mandates citizens to embrace science and forced medical procedures

  • What are the “anti-science arguments”? If, when fully vaxxed, a person can still catch and transmit covid (as admitted by Fauci), it is obviously extremely discriminatory and highly unscientific to fire someone from their job when their vaxxed colleagues can do the same.

    C’mon people, let’s look at this whole thing from a new perspective: there are MAJOR holes in the dictates the City Officials are making, unchecked. Same goes for the State and Fed government entities. Time to do some investigative journalism and get the truth out there for The People to know.

  • In reply to David Sjostedt, who wrote this article, I urge you to seek truthful information and data about the fact that an extremely higher level of deaths and injuries have been caused by the so-called “Covid Vaccines” than the “Covid Virus” itself. Truthful data comes from those aligning with truth, life, justice and freedom. Deceptive data comes from those aligning with evil (injuries, death, injustice, dismantling of our freedoms). I STRONGLY SUPPORT Rob Geller and all others who are courageously defending their GOD-GIVEN freedoms. There are MANY MORAL AND LEGAL AND FAITH reasons why people are rightfully choosing to refuse to inject an experimental, death-causing, injury-causing, gene-altering protocol into their bodies which contains aborted fetal cells and is being deceptively pushed on people as “SAFE.” Stop slandering and insulting the heroes in our country and choose to become one yourself.

  • • We don’t mandate Muslims to eat bacon & ham sandwiches.
    • We don’t force Jews to work on the sabbath.
    • We don’t mock & bully Sikhs for wearing their turbans.
    • We don’t force Christians to disobey the Holy Spirit.
    • We don’t ask people to PROVE their faith. We TRUST them. Full stop.
    • America is governed by the US Constitution (First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion) – and we adhere to the Nuremberg Code of 1947 that disallows medical procedures on unwilling human subjects (Nazi socialists did that in concentration camps)
    • We allow religious freedom for those who don’t wish to subject their body to this controversial medical experiment with mRNA gene therapy that was originally designed to be a cancer treatment but hasn’t yet been proven to work on animals – and has proven to be failing in devasting numbers on humans, according to FDA’s VAERS database that I download and read myself. My own family, my friends, and several Intel co-workers have sustained seriously injuries from this medical experiment.

    So I should be free to say: “thanks, but no thanks – I have a religious objection.” DONE.
    Now there is talk of having to “apply for” a religious objection that someone needs to “validate”. Hello? Have you ever read the Bible? Matthew 7:1-2 warns against human stepping in for Jesus to judge/decide who is and who is not in His Kingdom. By asking someone to even have that role, you are putting them under divine judgement. Who wants THAT job?!

  • I fully support Rob Geller’s position and I believe that, truth be told, his argument will win in court eventually, especially as more and more information comes out. Yesterday, I mailed arguments and evidence to the Attorney General of California and to my County Sheriff regarding the blatant crimes surrounding the “Covid19 Pandemic” detailing the conspiracy which has been laid out clearly by Dr. David Martin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr and others. The only reason that the public, in California, has been duped is the collusion of the media and the big tech companies to censor facts, science, reason, and all the arguments which completely shatter the dominant “myths” surrounding Covid 19. The media also obscure the massive protests and demonstrations that have taken place throughout the world in opposition to the tyrannical medical measures which have harmed so many and siphoned so much wealth from the poor and middle class into the billionaire class. We have been lied to about everything- the virus was not as deadly as they hyped it to be, the tests were faulty and created a vast percentage of “false positives,” effective early treatment was suppressed, only the dangerous, expensive “Emergency Use Authorized” treatments and the vaccines were pushed. The very definition of “pandemic” and “vaccine” were altered to allow for the global countermeasures to take place and to trick people into allowing themselves to be injected with a “bioweapon.” The deadliness and harmfulness of the gene therapy pushed into so many arms was never disclosed. People were coerced into getting those awful “jabs.” Many people have died from them. This is in flagrant violation of the Nuremberg Principle of Informed Consent. How can people be informed, when the dangers are not disclosed and an intense “safe and effective campaign is being waged by the government and media? Fauci and the CDC hold patents and are making money (big money) off of this whole thing. Big Pharma has completely captured government agencies. Although there is collusion since there is a revolving door between Big Pharma, the military, government officials and an enormous amount of corruption. The current scenario- dismantling democracy to be replaced by corporate rule, has been gamed in exercises for over two decades. That is one reason that the lockdowns, social distancing and masking occurred, not for health reasons, but to psychologically isolate and breakdown our entire culture, so that people could be manipulated more easily and put into a state of anxiety, and a state of mass psychosis. Thank-God for Sane Francisco! Hopefully they will be able to break the spell! And I greatly appreciate Rob Geller’s principled, courageous, and compassionate stand.

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