Leslie Manookian, founder and president of the Health Freedom Defense Fund, and attorney Brant Hadaway join Kim Monson and Dr. Jill Vecchio to discuss their victory in federal court over the Travel Mask Mandate. You can listen to the full show here, Leslie and Brant’s segment starts at 1:09, or you can read the conversation below.
Kim: And welcome back to the Kim Monson show I’m Kim Monson. Be sure and check out our website, that’s kimmonson.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, there you can email me at email@example.com as well. Thank you to all of you who support us, I greatly appreciate that. My friends, you were made for this moment and what a moment it is.
Kim: Dr. Jill Vecchio and I are on location and on the line with me is Leslie Manookian who is the founder of the Health Freedom Defense Fund as well as Brant Hadaway, who was the lead attorney regarding this court case, this decision that just came down this week, that basically freed us from the masks. And Leslie, first of all, I mean, it is such a great gift to have you on the show right after this has happened because I know that you have been in demand all over the country. And so thanks so much for making this work for your schedule.
Leslie: Well, Kim, I’m so grateful to you for your support over the last year-plus, and for the opportunity to talk about health freedom and inform people about their rights, because most of Americans aren’t aware of their rights and you’ve allowed that to happen and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
Kim: Well, I appreciate you as well. Brant Hadaway- actually, Dr. Jill, you had just a comment that you wanted to make.
Dr. Jill: Well you know Brant, this is Jill Vecchio, hi and I want us to say thank you on behalf of everybody in the country, if not the world, you know, how many people have you to thank and are grateful to you, even if they don’t know who you are, but thank you. And God bless you for everything you’ve done, but I love the way that you said, Brant, that you kind of, this was almost a dream come true opportunity for you as a, as a lawyer to take on a case. And you feel as if you’re really making a difference and you really have, and, it was inspiring to hear that. And I was just wondering if you and Leslie could address how you have felt taking this on as an American citizen.
Dr. Jill: I would just love- you said it’s an inspirational story and you had a big win and it has to feel so good, but you know what? I wish more Americans could feel that good and feel that fulfilled. And, and wouldn’t be intimidated to take the step to get involved. Could you comment on that?
Brant: Sure. I, and thank you for your comments I really appreciate that. It is very gratifying. you know, I spent a part of my younger years in the nineties living in post-communist Eastern Europe. And, I saw what statism does to people. How it not only makes people poor, but it corrodes civic virtue and when I moved back to the states and then I went to law school, this is my second career. That was really something that was always on my mind was how statism erodes civic virtue and how it erodes, of course, civil liberties. And, you know, what could I somehow do about that? And, you know, I became a very big fan of our constitutional order of the framers of our constitution had so much foresight, you know, they didn’t, impose any permanent rules on us. They impose permanent rules on the government and the government is the federal government is limited to certain enumerated powers. And the federal government’s role in public health was traditionally limited to supporting the states. There was never any precedent before COVID for a federal health agency to implement any kind of nationwide mandate that controlled the lives and businesses of hundreds of millions of people.
There just wasn’t any precedent for it. And so for me, a big part of this case was about doing something to restore our constitutional order, to remind the government that it is restrained by law. It is restrained by the constitution and it can’t just do whatever it wants because it thinks something is a good idea.
Leslie: Can I say something?
Kim: Oh, yes, please do. Go ahead, Leslie.
Leslie: I just wanted to say that, you know, it’s, it’s so interesting how our journeys take us from different places and then we’ve arrived here. I worked on wall street, but I used to joke that I was the only socialist on wall street. I thought the only problem in the world was that our government didn’t have enough taxes to do its job and that I didn’t pay enough taxes.
Literally. That’s what I believed. And it was only through, getting pregnant and learning that I had an auto-immune condition and thinking about having a baby and then learning that I had problems that did not- that were not treatable through Western medicine, allopathic medicine, and my doctor recommended that I go and see a homeopath that I started to learn that there was a vaccine controversy and debate.
Leslie: And I ended up making a documentary called the greater good and an award-winning documentary on vaccines. And it took me to a place where I started to realize that, well, government wasn’t above the law, government wasn’t always right, And government wasn’t always necessarily doing what was right for the public. And it inspired me to want to protect myself. And most importantly, my unborn son. And so I did so much research to try and understand the whole vaccine controversy and debate. And decided that I wasn’t going to vaccinate my son when he was first born and, you know, fast forward 20 years from there and we land in early 2020 with all these measures being pushed out. And this just, you know, saber-rattling, an essentially public health saber-rattling about masks and social distancing and contact tracing and all this. And I had already seen what had happened with parents, losing the right to decide- to direct the health and upbringing of their children.
And I knew I had to do something and this is so it’s very interesting that Brant came from. One side seeing the ills and I came from the other, where I actually believed the ills and I’ve woken up to the fact that we actually derive our rights from above. Not from a government entity or anybody else.
And so we’re both United in trying to do what we think is the right thing. According to our founding fathers, the principles underlying the United States founding, and also just to what is decent, right, and true. And so here we are.
Kim: Okay. It’s Jill, you have a comment.
Dr. Jill: Right and I think both you and Brent Lesley have made the same point, but coming from a different history, which is great. I just like to point out to people whenever a politician or whenever somebody says the constitution is a living document, we need to change the constitution. It’s a terrible document. Understand that they’re trying to take away from us, the average person from you, the average person, they’re trying to take your rights away from you and give them to government or some group of elites. The constitution exists to protect, as Brant said so beautifully, to protect the individual, not the government. So that’s why politicians and these elites and the people who want big government, don’t like the constitution because it’s the one thing that’s keeping them from taking total control over our lives.
Kim: It stands in the way, Leslie and Brant this is going too quickly, we’re, we’re getting near the end of your segments here, but it looks like the Biden administration is going to appeal this ruling, Brant what’s your thoughts on that?
Brant: Well, they have, legally they have appeal. They filed a notice of appeal yesterday.
So now that starts the process of motion for, you know, bringing the case before the appellate court, in this case, it’ll be the federal 11th circuit court of appeals. Even though the mandate was set to expire May 8th. What I see happening is that the administration is probably concerned about the part of the judge’s ruling saying that the CDC lacked the statutory authority to do this. Even though they may not want to continue imposing the mandate now, I think they want to preserve the right to do this again in the future. And that’s, what’s giving them heartburn. And I think that’s the reason they appealed.
Leslie: Can I just say, they actually said that they want to preserve the authority of the CDC to act this way. That’s what the appeal is all about. And that is not American. That is not the rule of law. They do not have the authority to do this.
Kim: Okay. So Leslie, Health Freedom Defense Fund doesn’t get any government money and, you’re funded by donations and gosh, people we need to-
If Brant and Leslie are willing to do this, we need to step up to the plate and help with this.
How can people do that, Leslie?
Leslie: Well yes. I mean, we’re a small nonprofit. Steve Bannon has likened us to the David and Goliath that we’re you know, David. All the work that we do is based on donations from generous supporters who believe in the American principles of Liberty. And, you know, people need to understand that this isn’t a partisan issue, right? Freedom is not a partisan issue, but you can go to our website, healthfreedomdefense.org. You can sign up for our newsletter. You can become a member for $10, or you can donate there. You can follow all of our lawsuits and get updates on everything that we’re doing to protect you and your children and your grandchildren in the future.
Kim: Okay. So 30 seconds Brant, how, how would you like to button this up?
Brant: Well, I would just say to everybody never take your rights for granted. Never take it for granted the fact that you’re able to live the lives that you live. What we have here in the United States, even for, you know, people on the poor end of the social spectrum, is way far and above, better and freer than what people experience in other countries around the world and never take for granted the gift of fellow citizens, caring for each other. That is such a great thing we have here and, that nobody’s compelled to do anything. People are able to act morally on their own.
Kim: Brant Hadaway, thank you so much. And definitely, we want to stay in touch. Leslie Manookian, thank you again. Thank you. How would you like to button this up to about 30 seconds?
Leslie: I just want to say that, the people who are pushing these policies on us are in the minority. When this mask mandate was struck down on Monday millions of Americans celebrated. We saw images of flight attendants and passengers, cheering, dancing, singing, and throwing their masks away. And I think it’s because the mask is a symbol of dehumanizing the public, and people don’t want to have to cover their faces. They want to be free and we can all unite and stand together. We’re not saying that anybody shouldn’t wear a mask if you feel more comfortable wearing a mask wear one, wear two if that makes you feel better. But if we all stand together, we can push back against this government creep because that’s what it really is. Thank you for having me on.
Kim: And that was Leslie Manookian with Health Freedom Defense Fund. This is just so inspiring. So thank you, Leslie. Thank you, Brant.