Thanks to vax mandate, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists face mass firings

It's not just nurses, firefighters, cops, military troops, and airline pilots who are getting fired over rigid COVID vaccine mandates.

Now it's nuclear scientists with highly specialized knowledge and top-secret security clearances:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Workers at one of the nation’s premier nuclear weapons laboratories face a deadline Friday — be vaccinated or prepare to be fired.

A total of 114 workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory — the birthplace of the atomic bomb — are suing over the mandate, saying exemptions have been unduly denied and their constitutional rights are being violated by Triad National Security LLC, the contractor that runs the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Which is quite outrageous, given that this deprives the U.S. of vital safety expertise on nuclear explosions which is the actual mission of the lab. It's also appalling because it leaves these scientists unemployed. They won't stay unemployed, of course. They can take their specialized knowledge and skills to other countries. Way to go, Joe, exporting our specialized scientists instead of our manufactured goods.

Who do they expect to replace them with? As Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds quips: "I'm sure we can replace them with Chinese PhDs."

That's a hell of a lot of loss over a vax mandate. They seem to think these workers are interchangeable cogs in the machinery, each either vaxxed or else easily replaced with another cog from somewhere else.

It's also incredibly unreasonable, a one-size fits all solution. Some of these scientists have conscience concerns over the vax, others have skepticism about vaccine efficacy and safety, and still others have health conditions that make taking a vaccine a bad idea. Quite a few are likely to have natural immunity, which, studies show, is superior to any vaccine protection. But nope, no reasonable exceptions. No room for reasonable accommodation, and no room for actual science.

What's more, it gets even crazier because there are no exceptions for those who work out of their homes. That's people who couldn't transmit COVID to other workers if they tried, based on elementary geography. Nope, no exceptions for those either. The vax mandate applies even to those specialized scientists of nuclear efficiency characterized as "teleworkers" who work online from their homes according to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, which in COVID times is a lot of them.

More than a hundred specialized workers filed a lawsuit to stop this unscientific idiocy in court, citing management's hostile work atmosphere for those who refused the vaccine, and incredibly, the judge said 'no.'

A legal challenge backed by dozens of scientists and other employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory to block a vaccine mandate was denied by a New Mexico judge Friday, putting the workers at risk of termination if they don’t adhere to the vaccination deadline by the afternoon deadline.

More than 100 scientists, nuclear engineers, research technicians, designers, project managers and other employees joined the attempt to block the mandate. Several of the employees are specialists with high security clearance, performing functions from national defense to infrastructure improvements and research on COVID-19.

Here's how nasty it was:

The lawsuit alleges that lab management has been harassing employees and has created a hostile work environment. The complaint outlines the experiences of many of the workers, including one who was screamed at for not being vaccinated and was told by a fellow crew member that he and his family deserved to die.

That's vile. This judge who ruled against them is pretty disgusting. And if the plaintiff account is true, so is the management. But more than any of them, the Biden administration that's behind this vax-numbers fanaticism, through the Department of Energy, which employs these contractors, is disgusting. Now the firings go forward.

Who runs this thing who's making such a bad decision?

According to news reports, it's a group called Triad National Security, LLC, under contract from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Their bare-bones Wordpress website is here. They are a consortium of three institutions:  Battelle Memorial InstituteThe Texas A&M University System and the University of California -- with curiously interchangeable names on the goverance boards they note, with several names appearing over and over. They appear to be a tight little elite.

According to the DOE, they have about ten or eleven sites run this way, through these five-year contracted management consortiums, calling it an industry best practice, complete with performance bonuses. There are names that appear on Triad management site governance boards that also appear on the management sites of other National Nuclear Security Administration installations. Such as him. Nice to be the elite.

Los Alamos, run by Triad, has an $11 billion BASIC contract over five years, signed in 2018, and lots of little ones since. If it's five years, then they're up for renewal, this time, from the likes of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, pretty soon. That's big money, so let's just say there's some incentive to make Granholm happy.

And do we have proof that Granholm has been pressuring them to enact this rigid and scientist-unfriendly vax mandate on the Los Alamos scientists? We sure as hell do.

Get a load:

Top brass at the Department of Energy are urging workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, revealing that 10 employees have died from the coronavirus in just the last three weeks.


“The vaccines are overwhelmingly safe; they are overwhelmingly effective,” Granholm said. “They are a marvel of modern science.”

She noted that after the Food and Drug Administration’s decision last week to grant full approval to the Pfizer vaccine, “there’s just no reason to delay.”

Granholm applauded several companies and universities that manage a few of DOE’s 17 national laboratories for instituting vaccine mandates for employees. She said those include Triad National Security at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and UT-Battelle at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, along with Stanford University, which manages the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in California, and Princeton University, which manages Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey.

“If a DOE contractor is considering a vaccine mandate for its workforce, I can tell you as a department, we are fully supportive,” Granholm said. “This is about saving lives. We should not have to mourn the loss of more friends and family and colleagues, not when these vaccines can protect us from serious harm.”

By Oct. 15, all Triad employees and on-site contractors and subcontractors at Los Alamos must be fully vaccinated, the Los Alamos Daily Post reported yesterday.

The newspaper said that Triad announced after the Pfizer vaccine was approved that it would make the vaccine mandatory for its workforce, including those teleworking. It estimated that 85 percent of the laboratory’s employees and contractors were already fully vaccinated.

That's pretty significant pressure and praise, and we don't even have what must have been said in the emails.

If the U.S. loses some of its top scientific talent on as critical of missions as nuclear security, alongside its vital nurses and firefighters and airline pilots, this one's on Joe. We know who's pushing this. And like everything associated with the Biden administration, it's all about doing more harm than good.

Image: Logo, via Twitter

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