Friday, January 27, 2023
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Pentagon Officially Drops Military Vax Mandate

'Now, it’s time to make it right for the people whose lives were destroyed by this disgraceful mandate! ...'

(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) Backed into a corner by the courts and Republican legislative wrangling, the Biden Pentagon on Tuesday announced that it had officially, and finally, rescinded its controversial COVID military vaccine mandate.

The mandate was already all but on the way out the door, after Congressional Republicans managed to get its assured demise packed into the National Defense Authorization Act last month.

“The end of President Biden’s military COVID vaccine mandate is a victory for our military and for common sense,” then-minority House Leader, now speaker, Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., wrote at the time. “Last week, I told the president directly: it’s time to end the COVID vaccine mandate and rehire our service members.”

McCarthy, and other critics across the partisan spectrum, noted that the unpopular mandate was an active threat to the nation’s security that “has already had negative consequences for our military.”

“The Army and Navy missed their 2022 recruitment goals by thousands of service members,” McCarthy wrote. “And, at the direction of the Biden administration, the Defense Department discharged 3,300 Marines, 1,800 soldiers, 1,800 sailors, and 900 airmen simply based on their personal decision to not take the COVID vaccine. This decision was detrimental to the ranks, and there is no doubt it put our national security at risk.”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the mandate news in a memo Tuesday, where he spent many words trying to defend and cheerlead for the mandate, and offered no apology for the harm it had done.

“No individuals currently serving in the Armed Forces shall be separated solely on the basis of their refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination if they sought an accommodation on religious, administrative, or medical grounds,” the memo said.

“The Department will continue to promote and encourage COVID-19 vaccination for all service members,” Austin boasted. “Vaccination enhances operational readiness and protects the force.”

Along with ending the vax mandate moving forward, Austin also said that military personnel who sought exemptions and were denied will have their records updated and any letters of reprimand will be removed.

Many lawmakers and citizens didn’t think that went far enough, and demanded action in remedying past harms.

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