US Freedom Flyers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US FREEDOM FLYERS LEADERSHIP CALLS LAWSUIT BASELESS, SAYS HEALTH FREEDOM DEFENSE FUND BREACHED ITS OPERATING AGREEMENT
HOUSTON, TEXAS – JULY 26, 2023 – Josh Yoder, president and co-founder of US Freedom Flyers
(USFF), today spoke out about the lawsuit that’s been waged against USFF by Leslie Manookian of
Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF).
Yoder, who co-founded USFF with three other pilots in August 2021 to address looming federal
aviation mandates, called the lawsuit frivolous. He went on to say that the suit is an attempt by
Manookian to modify the contract between USFF and HFDF so that Manookian’s nonprofit can
have legal claim to the donations it was contracted to manage for USFF.
At question is approximately $525,000 donated to USFF that HFDF had collected and held for
USFF while USFF was waiting for its official nonprofit status to be approved. That status was
granted in September 2022. However, Yoder said that when USFF attempted to transfer the
donations held by HFDF into its new 501(c)(3) account, HFDF did not cooperate. Moreover, he
said, HFDF never provided a valid explanation why it would not do so.
“We attempted, through our attorneys, to resolve this matter amicably with no success,”
remarked Yoder. “Manookian instead initiated a lawsuit in an attempt to gain control of our
In HFDF’s June 21 court filing, HFDF claims that the funds it collected for USFF were specifically for
the purpose of challenging COVID-19 mandates for federal contractors and subcontractors.
The document states that because litigation has concluded, expending funds for that purpose is
“impossible and impractical.” It goes on to say, “HFDF seeks a declaratory judgment allowing it to
expend the Funds for similar purposes, consistent with the donors’ intent and HFDF’s charitable
However, Yoder points out that the money from USFF supporters was specifically donated to
USFF for federal mandate litigation and related airline industry matters, not for HFDF to use at its
discretion. Moreover, he says, the agreement between USFF and HFDF clearly stipulates that USFF
is responsible for determining the objectives of all litigation, the legal representation, and how
the litigation is resolved.
“Our work is far from over,” Yoder stated. “The COVID-19 mandate may have been dropped, but
nearly every day we hear from people who have been harmed by the vaccine or by the vaccine
mandate. Many have serious cardiac, vascular and neurological issues; others are walking around
with undiagnosed illnesses. It’s more important than ever to continue our mission to protect the
rights of aviation industry employees through the filing of additional lawsuits and to find solutions
for the countless individuals who have been affected by unjust and unconstitutional mandates.”
Looking ahead, Yoder is optimistic about USFF’s future and says that he is proud of what the
organization has accomplished since its inception in 2021. This includes filing lawsuits against the
Biden administration as well as United Airlines and Atlas Air; forming a global aviation advocacy
coalition; growing an extensive network of supporters—domestically and abroad; assembling a
world-renowned medical advisory committee specifically focused on helping the vaccine injured;
and serving as a go-to resource for airline personnel, legislators and the general public.
About US Freedom Flyers
Founded in 2021, US Freedom Flyers is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend
medical freedom by preserving citizens’ rights to work and travel without government obstruction
and to help find solutions for those who have been harmed by illegal medical mandates. For more
information, visit our website at usfreedomflyers.org or https://linktr.ee/usfreedomflyers to
access our social channels.