She gave an interview to The Daily Show in 2014, claiming that vaccines are “full of toxins.” The title of the segment was “An Outbreak of Liberal Idiocy” and compared the progressive anti-vaccination movement to conservative climate change.
“You can line up the doctors from here and down the block and reject me, but I’m not going to change my mind,” Ms. Pope.
As Ms. Manookian often notes in her biographical information, she had a career on Wall Street in the 1990s and early 2000s. But when she was 28, according to her website, she received a “ton of travel vaccines,” which led to a “ton of health problems.”
The right judge
On July 12, 2021, when Ms. Pope and Ms. Daza filed their lawsuit, the Tampa Division randomly assigned it to its newest judge, Judge Mizelle, a Conservative lawyer appointed by President Donald J. Trump in November 2020. It was a blessing for the plaintiffs.
“They were lucky to have a judge who was sympathetic to their ideology,” said Lawrence O. Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University.
When their team had the winning ticket, they fought to keep it. On Oct. 15, attorneys representing the CDC and the White House pressed for the case to be transferred to another district court judge, Paul G. Byron, to “avoid the likelihood of inefficiency.” Judge Byron, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014, was already handling a similar case against the CDC, involving a man who said his anxiety made it impossible for him to wear a mask, preventing him from flying. The plaintiffs argued that the cases were quite different and Judge Mizelle dismissed the transfer request.
April 18, the day the mask mandate was scheduled to expire – five days earlier the CDC had extended it by two weeks – Judge Mizelle handed down his ruling. She focused in part on the Public Health Service Act, a law enacted in 1944 that empowers federal officials to make and enforce rules to prevent the introduction of a contagious disease from foreign countries and its spread between states. These rules could include “inspection, gassing, disinfection, sanitation, pest control, destruction of animals,” the law states, “and other measures” that authorities deem “may be necessary.”