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UC Irvine suspends professor who filed lawsuit against vaccine mandate

UC Irvine has suspended the professor who filed a lawsuit against its COVID vaccine mandate.

Professor of psychiatry Dr. Aaron Kheriaty filed the lawsuit in late August on behalf of himself and other individuals in the UC system who have natural immunity to COVID-19 due to a previous infection of the coronavirus.

But on Oct. 1 the public university not only suspended him, putting him on “investigatory leave” for the next month for refusing to get the vaccine — but campus leaders also took away his ability to earn a living and refused to allow him to contact his patients, Kheriaty said in a written statement he posted on his substack.

“I was given no opportunity to contact my patients, students, residents, or colleagues and let them know I would disappear for a month,” he wrote.

“You might be thinking, a month of paid leave doesn’t sound so bad. But the language is misleading here, since half of my income from the University comes from clinical revenues generated from seeing my patients, supervising resident clinics, and engaging in weekend and holiday on-call duties,” Kheriaty wrote.

“So while on leave my salary is significantly cut. Furthermore, my contract stipulates that I am not able to conduct any patient care outside the University: to see my current patients, or to recoup my losses by moonlighting as a physician elsewhere, would violate the terms of my contract.”

The university may have been emboldened by its recent court victory.

U.S. District Court Judge James Selna ruled late last month that the university system “acted rationally to protect public health by mandating the vaccine and not exempting individuals with some level of immunity from an infection,” Reuters reported.

“Selna’s ruling denied a motion for a preliminary injunction by Aaron Kheriaty. And while Selna said the professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine did not show a likelihood of success, Kheriaty said he plans to continue the litigation.”

Kheriaty seconded that notion in his statement.

“Although this is a challenging time for me and my family, at this time I remain convinced that this course of action is worthwhile. I am grateful for your ongoing encouragement, prayers, and support. I want my readers to know that am taking legal action not primarily for myself, but for all those who have no voice and whose Constitutional rights are being steamrolled by these mandates.”

Read his full post here.

MORE: Calif. professor files lawsuit against vaccine mandate citing natural immunity

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.