PENSACOLA — The lawsuit, in which 14 men and two women serving in the military are named as plaintiffs, names U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, three U.S. military service secretaries and other federal officials as defendants.
The legal action filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Pensacola is spearheaded by attorneys associated with the nonprofit organization Defending the Republic, a conservative nonprofit organization operated by Sidney Powell.
Affidavits from the unnamed military personnel — including Air Force officers at Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field — involved in a court challenge to a Department of Defense mandate that military personnel get a COVID-19 vaccination provide some insight into their decisions to participate in the case.
As one example, a female Air Force officer stationed at Hurlburt Field who lives in Pensacola said she was ordered on Sept. 10 to get the vaccine by Sept. 30, but was concerned because in her view, all the vaccines available at the time were authorized only for emergency use.
“I was also encouraged to get the vaccine by my medical provider after I confided in her that I was worried because I have a fertility disorder and don’t have children but want them,” the officer wrote, adding later that “I understand that there is impact on menstruation cycles, and I choose not to take the risk.”
A third plaintiff, identified as an Air Force officer in Fort Walton Beach, contended that he contracted COVID-19 in October 2020, and when he was tested for antibodies in September of this year, he was found to “retain a high number of antibodies … .”
Despite that, the officer asserts, he “was told having a prior COVID-19 infection is irrelevant.”