NASA WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY WORKERS PROTEST FEDERAL VACCINE MANDATE

NASA WALLOPS, VA- A crowd of 60 federal workers and contractors gathered outside the gate to the NASA WALLOPS flight facility Wednesday Morning to protest President Biden’s executive order mandating federal employees be fully vaccinated against covid-19 by November 22 or risk termination.

Protestors at the event told 47ABC, they will not get vaccinated, and are fully prepared for the repercussions.

“People are not going to let the government dictate what to do with their bodies, and that means many are ready to walk, even with the suffering of the consequences,” said protestor and federal contractor at NASA Wallops Brenden Kettner.

Kettner told 47ABC, he believes there are many federal employees and contractors at the facility that agree with them.

He said, if all of them were to be let go, services at the facility like crucial resupplies of the International Space station, and NASA’s plan to return to the moon would be disrupted.

“I know there are groups here that are going to lose a substantial capacity to launch spacecraft and to conduct operations here,” he said.

Management from Wallops Island couldn’t comment on that possibility but told 47ABC, they don’t want to lose anyone.

“Every position here is essential and critical everyone is a part of this mission,” said NASA Wallops Flight Facility Office of Communications Chief Jeremy Eggers.

Eggers told47ABC the mandate to have federal workers be fully protected against Covid-19 by November 22nd, isn’t meant to force staff away but to keep everyone healthy.

“It’s really about keeping people and how do we keep people healthy and safer here, so we can do the mission that is critical not just for Nasa but our nation,” he said.

The mandate would require the federal workers receive their final shots, by November 8th to be fully vaccinated by the 22nd, with a different set of deadlines for federal contractors still being formulated by the Federal Office of Personnel Management.

Protestors say while they are willing to be fired, they will still pursue legal action to try and maintain their posts.

Contractors at the protest told 47ABC that their contracts did not have a requirement for vaccinations, and they hope that can be used in their favor in court.

Management at NASA Wallops say, their goal is to not have to take disciplinary action against anyone, and they will try to be as lenient as they can for those who are trying to get last-minute shots in time for those deadlines.

“No supervisor at wallops is counting down the days to where disciplinary actions need to be implemented, we hope those on the fence will seek credible information, apply for a medical or religious accommodation that applies or get vaccinated,” Eggers aid.