Judge forbids father, who reportedly had COVID, from visiting young daughter until he gets jab, or weekly tests

A father in Long Island, New York has been banned by a judge from visiting his 3-year-old daughter in a custody dispute unless he gets the COVID vaccination or undergoes weekly testing.

The unidentified father visits his young daughter every other weekend as part of an arrangement with the child’s mother resulting from a separation in 2019 and a contentious custody battle. Or at least he did until Judge Matthew Cooper handed down his COVID ruling.

“Here, in-person parental access by defendant is not in the child’s best interests, and there are exceptional circumstances that support its suspension,” Cooper wrote in his judgment, according to the New York Post. He is presiding over the couple’s divorce proceedings and custody dispute.

“The dangers of voluntarily remaining unvaccinated during access with a child while the COVID-19 virus remains a threat to children’s health and safety cannot be understated,” the judge proclaimed in his Oct. 7 decision.

The father is being ordered to present a weekly PCR test or show proof of full vaccination. He is also being told that he has to get a biweekly antigen test within 24 hours of his every other weekend visit with his daughter.

“Unfortunately, and to my mind, incomprehensibly, a sizable minority, seizing upon misinformation, conspiracy theories, and muddled notions of ‘individual liberty,’ have refused all entreaties to be vaccinated,” asserted the high-profile judge.

Cooper has made a reputation for himself by presiding over the divorces of celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, and former NBA player Lamar Odom.

Evan Schein, who represents the mother, gushed over the ruling.

“It’s an incredibly important one that highlights the extraordinary times we are living in and reinforces that a child’s best interests are paramount,” he stated.

The father’s attorney, Lloyd Rosen, believes otherwise and claims it sets a dangerous precedent.

“My client is not a conspiracy theorist,” Rosen defensively argued. “He has concerns about the vaccine. He’s heard about side effects. He once had a bad reaction to a flu vaccine.”

Adding injury to insult, the father has reportedly already had COVID and recovered from it. He contends that he now has immunity to the virus that protects him more fully than vaccination.

The father has also argued that the requirement is an “unreasonable intrusion on his rights as an American citizen.”

He visits his daughter under the supervision of his mother. That circumstance is due to a “history of substance abuse and untreated mental health issues,” Cooper contends in his ruling.

The mother’s attorney is the one who raised the issue of the father’s vaccination status on Sept. 2. She stated two weeks later that she is only willing to restore his visitation rights if he gets the jab. The judge agreed.

Cooper denied the father’s request for a full hearing. He insisted that “the risk of imminent harm to the child” justified foregoing the step so a swift ruling could occur

“This judge must feel that 80 million Americans who aren’t vaccinated are placing their children at imminent risk or harm and, therefore, the courts should intervene and remove those children from their parents,” Rosen stated. “This is an absurd position to take.”

The father has not decided whether or not to appeal the ruling.

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