Mayo Rejects Religious Exemptions

On Nov. 23, 2021, we sent a letter to Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, CEO & President of Mayo Clinic, with questions about why religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate have been consistently rejected.

November 23, 2021

Dr. Gianrico Farrugia
CEO & President
Mayo Clinic
200 First St. SW
Rochester, MN 55905

Dr. Farrugia,

For several weeks we have heard from many Mayo Clinic employees who are beyond distressed by the vaccine mandate that is being forced on them. These constituents and Minnesotans expressed their concerns when Mayo Clinic first announced that a vaccine mandate would be imposed on all staff. However, these frustrations have grown exponentially in recent weeks as Mayo Clinic has consistently rejected applications for religious exemptions to the mandate.

We share the distress of these employees, and we support them absolutely.

Specifically, we have heard from dozens of people who applied for a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate but were denied. This is extremely concerning to us. We need specific answers on how Mayo Clinic is screening these religious exemptions.

As such, we ask the following questions:

  1. What qualifies a person for a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate?
  2. What disqualifies a person from receiving a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate?
  3. Do objections to the use of fetal tissue cells prevent someone from receiving a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate?
  4. How many people have applied for a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate?
  5. How many religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate have been granted?
  6. In the application process for a religious exemption, Mayo Clinic employees are asked to, “provide any information that will help us to determine that your belief is sincerely held.” How are Mayo Clinic employees supposed to prove their beliefs to you?
  7. Who is reviewing, approving, or rejecting the applications for religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate?

Who is Mayo Clinic to evaluate the authenticity of a person’s religious beliefs? Quite simply, we do not believe that Mayo Clinic has any authority whatsoever to determine the sincerity of a person’s religious beliefs. Mayo Clinic cannot possibly judge a person’s faith convictions in a fair or accurate way. Any attempt to do so is an open rejection of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The Minnesotans who work at Mayo Clinic are good people who are just trying to live their lives as free Americans. We will not tolerate any religious persecution, and we demand that Mayo Clinic end its vaccine mandate.

We request a reply as soon as possible. We are mindful that December 3 is the date your mandate goes into effect.

Sincerely,

Rep. Jeremy Munson, District 23B, Minnesota House of Representatives

Rep. Tim Miller, District 17A, Minnesota House of Representatives

Rep. Steve Drazkowski, District 21B, Minnesota House of Representatives

Rep. Cal Bahr, District 31B, Minnesota House of Representatives