Manhattan, New York Judge Matthew Cooper has forbidden a Long Island father from visiting his hospitalized 3-year-old daughter unless he receives the COVID-19 vaccination or submits to weekly testing.
The father argued that he previously tested positive for COVID-19 and therefore possesses natural immunity superior to vaccines.
Nevertheless, according to a report in the New York Post, Justice Cooper ruled: “Here, in-person parental access by defendant is not in the child’s best interests, and there are exceptional circumstances that support its suspension.”
“The dangers of voluntarily remaining unvaccinated during access with a child while the COVID-19 virus remains a threat to children’s health and safety cannot be understated,” Justice Cooper also wrote in his ruling.
The father, whose name was withheld in the report, has reached out to attorney Lloyd Rosen for assistance. Rosen stated to the New York Post: “My client is not a conspiracy theorist. He has concerns about the vaccine. He’s heard about side effects. He once had a bad reaction to a flu vaccine.”
Rosen added: “This judge must feel that 80 million Americans who aren’t vaccinated are placing their children at imminent risk of harm and, therefore, the courts should intervene and remove those children from their parents. This is an absurd position to take.”
However, the hospitalized child’s mother welcomed the ruling. Her attorney, Evan Schein, made the following statement regarding the court’s decision: “It’s an incredibly important one that highlights the extraordinary times we are living in and reinforces that a child’s best interests are paramount.”
Last month, Schein raised concerns about the father’s vaccination status during a conference. Agreeing with the concerns, Justice Cooper reasoned that vaccines are now a requirement “to participate meaningfully in everyday society” and noted that vaccine mandates are now common in various professions and industries.
Mayor de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for New York City requires individuals to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter public establishments such as restaurants, gyms, bars, and theaters.
There has been pushback in some industries, particularly as regards religious exemptions. Last week, a New York federal judge issued a ruling allowing New York healthcare workers to refuse the vaccine if they apply for a religious exemption.
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