Biden's vaccine mandate will decimate our military

These discharges are as unnecessary as they are unjustified

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Dec. 15, 2021, is the deadline for every active-duty member of the Army to comply with President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. This follows earlier deadlines for the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. 

It is also the day that may set into motion one of the most grievous injuries ever perpetrated upon our military by its commander in chief

Why? Because President Biden is threatening to discharge every member of the military who expresses a religious exemption or nothing more than a cautionary reluctance to immediately obey his sweeping vaccine mandate. This would be as unnecessary as it is unjustified. 

HOW IS COVID GOING TO END?

 According to recent data from the Department of Defense, well more than 90% of every military branch has received a vaccination – with Navy and Air Force personnel surpassing a vaccination rate of 95%. That is a vaccination rate far greater than not only the nation at large (72%), but also any state in the nation. (Vermont has the nation’s highest vaccination rate at 75%.) 

But that’s not good enough for President Biden. He is declaring an unacceptable failure perhaps the most successful health utilization program in our nation’s history. 

That’s why my colleagues and I also wrote to President Biden and called on him not to be careless with the clear constitutional powers of his office and abuse his authority as the commander in chief. It is well past time for this administration – which has already profoundly let down our men and women in uniform with its disastrous and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan – to turn back from this reckless campaign of brinksmanship it has undertaken against our best and brightest. 

Every day, another member of our military contacts my office seeking a way to ward off President Biden ending their career. They’re at a loss to understand the extent to which they’re being targeted by this White House. 

Only the military vaccine mandate remains unchanged, barreling toward its devastating toll. 

They’re not dissidents in our ranks. They’re war fighters and battle strategists, engineers and linguists, and soldiers and scholars. But they’re also fathers and mothers to children who need them and daughters and sons to parents who burst with pride at their service to our country.  

They are acting on the principles drilled into them throughout their career, and they don’t deserve to immediately lose their commissions or careers because of it. 

But that’s what is about to happen. 

As of today, however, as many as 50,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are on the brink of being dismissed from service for disagreeing with the Biden mandate or seeking a religious exemption. Some have informed me that instead of being thrown out, they will quit the duty they love, give up the mission they have trained for, and separate from their brothers in arms whose lives they swore to protect – and who swore to protect theirs. 

A final point about why this is so important. 

Think about the myriad Biden vaccine mandates on private sector employees, health care professionals, the federal workforce and its contractors. 

All were challenged successfully by a union, a lobby, a business interest, even attorneys general from more than a dozen states. All were stayed, delayed or halted. 

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Only the military vaccine mandate remains unchanged, barreling toward its devastating toll. 

Every one of those service members stepped forward in the prime of their lives and volunteered to defend this country and fight for all of us when we need it. Now, when they need it, who will fight for them? 

Military personnel have no lobby. No union rep. No chamber of commerce. There is no court and no cover for them. 

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They only have their honor. And they only have us. 

Mr. President: That ought to be enough. End this mandate. 

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