Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Vaccines, Religious Freedom and the Military: The Pentagon violates soldiers’ rights and its own regulations; Army bars more than 60K National Guards, Reservists from service, cutting off pay, and other-Virus related stories

Vaccines, Religious Freedom and the Military:
The Pentagon violates soldiers’ rights and its own regulations
Military regulations guarantee religious freedom, but the Pentagon is defying them. More than 24,000 members across the branches have submitted religious-accommodation requests following Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s August 2021 vaccination order. Almost all have been rejected. These troops now face punishment and discharge.
Many religious personnel are Christians who object to using abortion-derived cell lines to develop or test medical products. That precludes them from taking any of the four Covid-19 vaccines the Food and Drug Administration has authorized so far.
Many of these troops survived Covid-19. Before the 2021 mandate, military regulations made prior infection grounds for exemption. The Pentagon is now ignoring this provision, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance that discounts natural immunity. Yet commanders haven’t ordered booster shots, which the CDC recommends. Requests for alternatives such as telework, masking and regular testing have also been rejected. The military says these once-common measures are “unavailable.”
The Pentagon’s antireligious animus is obvious in the data on secular exemption requests. The Air Force has approved 1,608 requests based on nonreligious reasons, although it hasn’t disclosed the total number of applications. At the same time, the service approved fewer than 130 of more than 9,000 religious requests submitted by airmen—and these approvals only went to troops voluntarily leaving anyway. As of May 4, 2022, the Marines had approved almost 900 administrative or medical exemptions but only seven religious-accommodation requests out of more than 3,700 applications. --->READ MORE HERE
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Army bars more than 60K National Guards, Reservists from service, cutting off pay:
Roughly 40,000 National Guardsmen and 22,000 Reservists will be barred from service for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the US Army announced Friday.
The decision effectively cuts off pay and benefits to the combined 62,000 service members and prohibits them from participating in training.
“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 to Military.com.
The Guardsmen and Reservists had until last Thursday to receive the vaccine. The deadline was the latest of all the armed services, which required members to get vaccinated last year, according to the outlet.
If the soldiers continue to refuse the vaccination requirement without a valid medical or religious exemption, they could face further action including “separation” or mandatory discharge. --->READ MORE HERE
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