"We have five Orthodox Jewish plaintiffs and one Catholic, and the suit involves what they have called the Key to NYC," says attorney Christopher Ferrara of Thomas More Society, the law firm representing the plaintiffs.
"Key to New York City is a regime under which basically you are denied full participation in society in terms of various places that people frequent unless you're vaccinated,” the attorney explains. “So, for example, if you want to go a museum, an art gallery, a basketball game, a catering hall, various other covered premises, you're barred from entering except for a quick and limited purpose."
That controversial order, which was launched in late December, can be read here.
The plaintiffs allege the entire plan is absurd, especially since vaccinated New Yorkers are catching COVID-19 and spread it.
“Omicron is infecting basically everybody vaccinated or unvaccinated,” Ferrera says. “So it makes no sense to penalize people who are unvaccinated when the vaccinated are spreading the virus.”
Even the executive order, the attorney stresses, admits that barring people from public establishment is meant to “incentivize” them to get the COVID shot.
Ferrara calls that tactic punishment for the sake of punishment.
The plaintiffs are also objecting for religious reason, including the reported connection between vaccine development and fetal cell lines.
“The idea that you can create a category of second-class citizens simply because they refuse a vaccine that they don't want,” the Thomas More attorney says, “has no precedent in this country."
A hearing is scheduled for February 24.