Politics: Former Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes leaving Newsmax

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Former Trump campaign advisor Steve Cortes is reportedly leaving his role as prime-time host at Newmax after he refused to comply with the network's vaccine mandate and repeatedly criticized it on social media.

Cortes, who co-hosts Cortes & Pellegrino, a weeknight show with former White House correspondent for One America News Jenn Pellegrino, will be leaving the network in the upcoming days, The Daily Beast reported.

Cortes was hired just six months ago, but sources told the outlet that his relationship with the right-wing network had been largely strained by his relentless comments that the 2020 Presidential election was rigged, and Cortes & Pellegrino's floundering. His refusal to take the vaccine was seemingly the last straw.

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The veteran news pundit had voiced on social media his discontent with Newsmax's requirement of proof of vaccination, which followed President Joe Biden's executive order forcing companies with 100 or more employees to obtain proof of vaccination from their workers or subject them to weekly testing and masking.

Cortes, a Trump loyalist, appeared to confirm news that he was leaving Newsmax by tweeting 'Do not comply!' just hours after the Daily Beast article was published.

Cortes had taken to Twitter to share his pronounced anti-vaccine beliefs and  disagreement with the mandate.

'I will not comply w / any organization's attempt to enforce Biden's capricious & unscientific Medical Apartheid mandate. I will not be forced into the injection, nor will I disclose my vaccination status. No one should be pressured to choose between medical privacy & their job,' he tweeted in early November, calling out Newsmax vaccine mandate, which requires employees to be fully vaccinated by January or submit to weekly testing.

After the Pfizer vaccine received emergency approval for children ages 5-12, he tweeted: 'This kind of propaganda is actually evil. Your children are not statistically at risk, and should not be pressured into a brand new treatment. Do Not Comply!'

Cortes also cast doubt on the efficacy of the vaccine, arguing that the drop in effectiveness was reason enough to avoid vaccination.

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'Massive declines in the efficacy of the vaccines over time. Johnson & Johnson version down to only 13% effective, Moderna slides to only 45%. No one should EVER be compelled to take these treatments, especially not children. Do Not Comply!' he wrote on Twitter.

According to five sources who spoke with the Daily Beast, Newmax had been growing tired of Cortes' refusal to drop claims that the 2020 presidential election had been rigged and Trump was the actual winner.

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'It's been ongoing for a while,' a staffer told the outlet. 'He's on a delay.'

The same source allegedly said that the network thought of Cortes as a constant risk, due to his controversial claims during the show, which averaged only 152,000 total viewers a night last month.

On Friday, Cortes shared a photo of ex-President Trump captioned '#Flashback Friday. Don't you guys miss him?'

On Halloween, Cortez shared a pictured dressed up as a pilot and captioned it 'Let's go Brandon,' a line that has become code for 'F—- Joe Biden' among pro-Trump crowds.

Cortes has not been the first to walk out of a media giant after the mandate was imposed.

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Last month, ESPN reporter Allison Williams quit after publicly defying the company's vaccine mandate.

Williams, who began at the network in 2011, typically worked college football and basketball games.

'While my work is incredibly important to me, the most important role I have is as a mother,' she wrote in a statement. 'Throughout our family planning with our doctor, as well as a fertility specialist, I have decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time while my husband and I try for a second child. This was a deeply difficult decision to make and it's not something I take lightly.'

She was then hired by Ben Shapiro's conservative news website The Daily Wire.

Williams, 37, will host a sports-related show for the site, which was founded by pundit Shapiro in 2015.

A promotional pop-up described the series as 'sports without the woke.' Another slogan bragged that 'Allison Williams Did Not Comply,' with the word 'not' shown in an ESPN-style font.

Last Tuesday, Biden filed an emergency lawsuit seeking to immediately reinstate his vaccine mandate for private employers with 100 or more workers after the rule faced a series of legal challenges.

Earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans issued a preliminary pause on the order, which prevented the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from moving forward in implementing the employer rules.

The Justice Department argues in its filing, according to The Wall Street Journal, that the rules reflect 'OSHA's judgment that these measures are necessary to mitigate Covid-19 transmission in the workplace, and the grievous harms the virus inflicts on workers.'

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