Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says
Lloyd Austin, Defense Secretary, stated that he would like to maintain the COVID-19 mandate for military vaccinations to protect troops’ health. However, Republican governors and legislators are pushing to repeal it.
More than 20 Republican governors wrote to President Joe Biden this week, asking him to remove the mandate. They claimed it had impeded the U.S. National Guard’s ability to recruit troops. Governors activate these troops to respond to unrest or natural disasters.
Congress could consider legislation to repeal the mandate to obtain enough support for this year’s defense budget. This is already two months late.
Austin stated that he would not respond to Hill pressure.
Austin said that he lost one million people to the virus while he was traveling with reporters Saturday. “One million Americans died from the virus,” Austin said to reporters who were traveling with him Saturday. We lost hundreds of DOD personnel. This mandate has helped people stay healthy.
Austin said, “I’m that guy” who ordered that the vaccine be administered to the military. I support the continuation of vaccinations for troops.
Austin ordered that all troops receive the vaccine last year; thousands of active-duty forces were discharged for refusing to get them.