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Tipsheet

Calls Grow to End Military Vaccine Mandates After Biden Declares Pandemic Over

AP Photo/LM Otero

During an interview with 60 Minutes over the weekend President Joe Biden declared the COVID-19 pandemic over. The statement was long overdue.  

"The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one's wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it's changing," Biden said. 

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But while Biden finally made the admission the country has moved on from the pandemic, harsh and unscientific vaccine mandates for members of the military remain in place. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Republican Senator Tom Cotton and others are calling for the mandate to be removed. 

As noted, thousands of healthy soldiers have been kicked out of the military or cut off from benefits as a result of Biden's mandate.

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. 

"Soldiers who refuse the vaccination order without an approved or pending exemption request are subject to adverse administrative actions, including flags, bars to service, and official reprimands," an Army spokesperson said in a statement. 

The move comes in the midst of the annual training season, during which part-time soldiers are often ordered to serve from two weeks to a month with their units for summer training exercises. Those training events are usually critical for soldiers to sharpen their military skills and for unit commanders to ensure their formations are ready to deploy if needed. 

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Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Brian Mast has introduced legislation to reinstate soldiers who have been dismissed. 

The Vaccine Mandate Reenlistment Act would make sure that any soldier, sailor, Airman or Marine who was discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine would be able to rejoin the military at their same rank.  I was joined by 21 of my fellow colleagues who have cosponsored the legislation.  

Those who support vaccine mandates for the military say that it’s about military readiness, but how can discharging thousands of troops benefit our readiness?  We need to get these men and women back in uniform and back doing the work that they love: serving our country and defending our freedom.

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