The “Everything Was Tested on HEK” Lie And The Priest That Spread It

On September 24, 2021, a Catholic Airman in United States Air Force, who graduated from the Academy with Military, Academic, and Athletic honors, was denied a religious exemption from receiving a COVID vaccine because she was told her objection did not constitute a “sincerely held belief”[1] after she admitted taking Tylenol, ibuprofen, and other over-the-counter medications. She was told that those medications, too, had been “tested” on the HEK-293 cell line. When she asked on what basis this testing claim was being made, her superior officer provided her with a single source[2] — an article by Fr. Matthew Schneider, LC, entitled, “If Any Drug Tested on HEK-293 is Immoral, Goodbye Modern Medicine.”

Her denial was based on a lie…

Fr. Matthew Schneider, LC

The lie, as it has been most commonly circulated — i.e., “Everything was tested on HEK” — is easily discredited. There are dozens and dozens of ways of testing medications, and tens of thousands of medications on the market. It is simply a lie to claim that all tens of thousands of those medications were tested using one method, and easily disproved. After Fr. Matthew’s article was published in January 2021, numerous individuals who had opted against the vaccine for moral reasons contacted this author (a medical doctor who also has a Master’s Degree in Theology) privately to ask if they were committing a sin by taking their long-term, often life-dependent medications, since, according to Fr. Matthew, it was “HEK-293 tested”. Between January and September 2021, I researched at least a dozen medications for them. By doing extensive searches of the medications’ actual Medical Testing histories, I found that none of their medications were tested on HEK-293, except one

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