Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Repeal of Military Vaccine Mandate Shows Changing Pandemic Politics; They Were Expelled From the Military for Refusing the COVID Vaccine; Can They Get Back In? ... and other C-Virus related stories

Photo by US Forces Korea via Getty Images
Repeal of military vaccine mandate shows changing pandemic politics:
The elimination of the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate as part of the defense policy bill represents a surprise concession by Democrats, and shows how the politics of the pandemic have changed.
Vaccine mandates have been championed by the Biden administration, congressional Democrats and blue state governors as an important tool in the fight against the coronavirus.
The Pentagon’s policy took effect in August 2021 during the height of the omicron wave, when the Biden administration was pulling out all the stops to jump-start lagging vaccination rates. The mandate has led to the dismissal of nearly 8,500 service members.
Cash giveaways, dating app partnerships and even free college tuition were barely moving the needle, so the administration decided new rules were necessary to force the issue.
As a result, the White House announced a slew of vaccine-or-test mandates that would cover roughly two-thirds of all public and private sector workers.
Republicans have been steadfast in their opposition. The Supreme Court eventually blocked the administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers. The court allowed a vaccine-only mandate for health providers at federally funded facilities. --->READ MORE HERE
Diana Ferree/U.S. Air Force
They were expelled from the military for refusing the COVID vaccine; can they get back in?
The vote by U.S. House of Representatives to reverse the Pentagon’s mandate that troops be vaccinated against COVID raises another question: If the measure clears the Senate as expected, what happens to those drummed out of the military for defying the order to get the shot?
Even before the House approved the National Defense Authorization Act earlier this week, both Louisiana members high in the chamber’s leadership — House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Republican Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson — were saying the discharged troops should be reenlisted.
“The NDAA specifies the secretary of defense must end the mandate within 30 days of it becoming law,” said Johnson, of Benton. “To our great frustration, Democrats would not agree to include in this bill a resolution to the other critical questions.”
Louisiana’s only House Armed Services Committee member, Johnson represents Barksdale Air Force Base and Fort Polk. He said he will work in the new Republican House majority come January “to prioritize reinstatement of all service members wrongfully terminated or otherwise disciplined for objecting to the vaccine.”
The numbers aren’t clear, but estimates used by the House show about 37,000 members were discharged for refusing to be vaccinated, out of 1.36 million active personnel.
Scalise, the Jefferson Republican who becomes the agenda-setting House majority leader in January, asked Twitter followers Wednesday if they agree with his message: “ The Biden Administration must not block troops who were discharged for not getting the COVID vaccine from re-enlisting now that Republicans have gotten the mandate eliminated.” --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Top Marine Corps General Admits COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Has Led To Decline In Military Recruitment

Youngkin seems to just now discover that he has power to curtail COVID penalties

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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