Gulfport family pushes back against federal vaccination mandate
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A family in Gulfport is among many faced with the choice of getting the COVID-19 vaccine or losing their jobs. The decision not to comply with the presidential executive order is one Justin Fayard and his family are not taking lightly.
Justin is a project manager for a company that is contract with the federal government. According to President Biden’s executive order, all federal workers and those who work for federal contractors must receive their final dose of the vaccine by Nov. 8.
For Justin and his wife Kristen, the date is looming over them and, with it, potentially devastating financial consequences. Despite those concerns, the Fayards are committed to their medical freedom, no matter what the cost.
Fayard says he’s not anti-vaccine, although he is concerned about adverse reactions. Above all, he wants medical freedom.
“There are options, and I think that’s the compromise you need to have,” said Justin Fayard. “When we put people into a corner and all you have is your job or nothing, you’re seeing what’s happening.”
Justin is the sole provider for his family of five and his wife has multiple health issues. In addition to facing the loss of income, they are concerned about losing their health insurance, too.
“The health insurance, the dental insurance, the vision insurance, the distress,” said Kristen. “I take seven or eight pills a day.”
Even with those concerns weighing heavy on them, the Fayards say they stand together on this issue.
“We do everything together. We ride our bikes together. We go to church together. We have all these things together that this foundation is so solid to me, and that’s why I have no fear to explain my story because I feel like my story and my wife’s story is my rock,” said Justin Fayard.
They are hoping their story encourages others to join them in the fight against vaccine mandates.
“I don’t feel alone at all. I feel like my husband and I are standing out helping others that do feel alone,” said Kristen Fayard.
The issue of vaccine mandates in the workplace has been one that has been hotly debated on both sides. Last week, hundreds of workers - mostly from Ingalls Shipbuilding - gathered in Pascagoula to protest the vaccine mandate at the shipyard, which holds several federal contracts.
An unified effort to push for change is what Justin Fayard hopes to continue seeing in South Mississippi. More than that, though, he wants to everyone to have a general respect for people’s choice to get the vaccine or to not get it.
“I’m pretty sure other people might have stories similar to this, and I just want people to know that no matter what you want to do with the vaccine, no matter what, we love you. We love everybody. We just want people to love us, too,” said Justin Fayard.
Justin started a change.org petition, which had just under 100 signatures on it by Monday morning. The petition states:
“This effort is to not comply with any vaccine mandates through COVID trial runs. This effort is to provide a legal team to represent “We the people” to fight against medical tyranny. We are being attacked per the Nuremberg trial, 1st amendment, and 10th amendment. We are being forced upon monetarily to lose our jobs in this matter. “We the People” want to file a case for crimes against humanity, unconstitutional values. “We the People” will fight for our constitutional values. Please sign and support this cause! Thank you!”
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