DOD Vax

Thousands of unvaccinated service members could still be booted over rescinded COVID-19 policy

Thousands of military service members could still be discharged because they didn’t apply for a COVID-19 vaccination exemption — even though the U.S. Department of Defense rescinded its mandate in January.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee blasted the DOD’s handling of its mandate as 69,000 out of 2 million active service members never received a vaccine, according to data sent to Congress members last week.

Approximately 53,000 sought an exemption or accommodation, leaving about 16,000 who could be axed for noncompliance with the rescinded vaccine policy, according to data supplied by Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert Cisneros in response to a letter from Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and Jim Banks, R-Ind.

“It’s incredibly divisive and cruel to fire patriotic service members for refusing to comply with a partisan and harmful rule that no longer exists,” Banks told Fox News Digital. “To me, the only explanation is that the Biden administration wants to purge conservative service members from the military.”

Cisneros’ letter noted that roughly 8,100 service members have already been separated for not complying with the vaccine mandate, though the data did not specify how many of those applied for an exemption.

Cisneros had said in his correspondence with the committee that vaccine refusal on its own wasn’t enough to be discharged if service members “sought an accommodation based on religious, administrative or medical grounds.”

Banks grilled Cisneros during a recent hearing in which he cited a study from The Lancet that found natural immunity against COVID-19 is as effective as vaccination.

Noting the novelty of the virus, Cisneros said “natural immunity is not something we believe in for this.”

Rogers, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, echoed Banks, telling Fox News Digital the Department of Defense “mishandled the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and botched reviewing religious exemptions.” . . . (read more on Fox News)

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Biden DOD firing vax refuseniks to ‘purge conservative service members’: House Armed Services member (Just the News, 9 MAR 23)

The Biden administration is seeking to “purge conservative service members” from the armed services for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the lifting of the military’s mandate, says Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. . . .

. . . . The letter said service members who refused to comply with the mandate and did not request an exception are currently being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Banks slammed the Department of Defense’s handling of the vaccine mandate.

“It’s incredibly divisive and cruel to fire patriotic service members for refusing to comply with a partisan and harmful rule that no longer exists,” Banks said. “To me, the only explanation is that the Biden administration wants to purge conservative service members from the military.”

Attorney R. Davis Younts, who represents an unvaccinated Air Force pilot who didn’t request an exemption from the COVID vaccine mandate, told Just the News on Thursday that the Defense Department’s position is that the unvaccinated service members didn’t follow what was a lawful order at the time.

The DOD doesn’t “want to admit” that the vaccine mandate “was an unlawful or improper order in the first place,” Younts said.

If the department did, then it would lead to “thousands” of service members who were kicked out of the military with adverse discharges going to boards of correction about getting them changed and possibly filing lawsuits. . . . (read more)

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