Biden addresses complaints and accomplishments from first year in office

President Biden held a press conference Wednesday fielding questions on his job performance during first year in office.

As millions of vaccines go in arms across the county, federal employees who refuse citing a religious exemption are quietly being entered into an online database.

Fox News looked through the records, and the Departments of Justice, Interior, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development and Transportation are just a few agencies taking part in the collection.

Covid-19 vaccination record card with syringe and vial

“It’s not surprising that the government is keeping a record of religious exemptions. The government does have to track its workforce,” George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley said.

For example, the Department of Transportation database “includes requests for a medical or religious accommodation to decline the Covid-19 vaccination.”

“Religious exemptions are based on the most personal and profound parts of people’s lives. They invoke these exemptions because they feel they cannot take this vaccine,” Turley added. 

Religious rights groups are calling foul about the databases.

“This is concerning because of the type of data that’s being gathered,” Ryan Bangert with Alliance Defending Freedom told Fox News.

A medical technician performs a nasal swab test on a motorist queued up in a line at a COVID-19 testing site near All City Stadium Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in southeast Denver.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Some of the databases also collect the vaccination status of all federal employees, not only those who said no for a religious reason. In September, President Biden ordered all federal employees to get vaccinated.

“This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you, the people you work with,” Biden said in September.

Exceptions to the rule continue to exist, including medical reasons and religious exemptions.

Sarah Gonzalez of New York, a Nurse Practitioner, displays a COVID-19 vaccine card at a New York Health and Hospitals vaccine clinic in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

“This data is being collected on a massive scale, and this is information about citizens’ privately held religious beliefs,” Bangert said.

Many of these departments have a public open comment period before the databases go into effect.

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