Still another repudiation of President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate foils the White House. A key provision in the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will be the rolling back of the Biden administration’s onerous coronavirus vaccination requirement on the US Armed Forces. You’ll remember the mandate requires military service members, having served honorably and in many cases spending many months deployed away from their families in harm’s way, to be inoculated regardless of personal conviction or be booted out of the military.
“We will secure lifting that vaccine mandate on our military. Because what we are finding is that they’ve been kicking out men and women that have been serving…[while] they’re not meeting their recruitment,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. The minority leader explained that the repeal of Biden’s vaccine mandate would be passed, or the entire bill would not go forward. McCarthy promised that with the Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, the president could expect more regarding protecting Americans’ interests.
Unfortunately, there will not be any relief for those service members who have been previously involuntarily separated from the military for refusing the vaccine. Additionally, of the 3,400 troops that have been booted as of last April “for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, about 70 percent have received general discharges, service personnel chiefs said Wednesday [April 27],” Military Times reported. The general discharge is a less than “honorable” separation from the armed forces and represents a stigma when seeking employment in the civilian workforce.
Our reserve forces are also at risk of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate’s punitive measures. “Some 40,000 National Guard and 22,000 Reserve soldiers who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer allowed to participate in their military duties, also effectively cutting them off from some of their military benefits, Army officials announced Friday [July 6],” Military.com reports. America depends on the volunteers in our National Guard and Reserve troops. Punishing these folks for being skeptical of a vaccine, the long-term effects of which are yet to be fully known, is draconian at best.
Vaccine Mandate to Be Repealed
McCarthy and his cadre of legislators backing the new NDAA comes just a day after the Biden administration doubled down, reasserting they will keep the mandate in place. As The Hill explained in a statement to reporters from the White House National Security Council strategic communications coordinator:
“The White House opposes using the annual defense spending bill to repeal a vaccine mandate for military service members, national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Monday. President Biden is in agreement with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the mandate should remain in place, Kirby said.”
Nonetheless, legislators in the Senate have expressed similar dismay at continuing to force COVID vaccination on military members. “[Filling] our recruiting goals are way short. The conflicts in the world are getting worse, not better. We need more people in the military not less…I think the policy of discharging people simply because they refuse to get this vaccine at this time makes no sense…It literally is insane,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in a press briefing.
CDC Doesn’t Support Vaccine Mandate
The White House need not look to the Center for Disease Control for support. “The CDC acknowledges the COVID vaccine does not stop transmission, so the argument that the mandate will stop incapacitating spread in the close quarters of military barracks is not applicable,” Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rick Scott (R-FL) wrote in a Fox News opinion piece. Despite growing support for appealing the Biden mandate, there is concern for those who have already been involuntarily separated. Other legislators like Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) who has expressed his belief that there should be repeal but with some accompanying “repair” for those given the boot and whose lives have been disrupted, “destroying the lives of our best and bravest.”
The Biden White House has a habit of making ill-advised policies and refusing to admit they were wrong. Vaccine mandates are a poster child for such sweeping decisions. Biden has lost when the administration’s mandates have been challenged in the courts. You would think that would send a message, but it hasn’t. Consequently, as Senator Graham suggested, when the president and crowd can’t do the right thing, Congress will. Mr. President, tear down this mandate.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
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