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Rep. Jackson Defends Servicemembers From Vaccine Mandates

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, Representative Ronny Jackson (TX-13) sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin regarding the Department of Defense’s (DoD) vaccine mandate and the negative impact it could have on military readiness. 

The letter can be found here, and additional background from The Daily Caller can be found here.

Jackson told Henry Rodgers of The Daily Caller: “Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, Operation Warp Speed achieved the impossible by developing multiple vaccines in record time. I got the vaccine because the benefit outweighed the risk based on the status of my personal health, but an authoritarian mandate will have serious consequences for America’s national security.

The decision to get vaccinated should be a personal choice for every American, just as President Biden previously supported before going back on his word and just as Vice President Harris desired when she said she would not get the vaccine if President Trump told her to.

As China rapidly expands its nuclear arsenal, the U.S. Military cannot afford to have its best and brightest on the sidelines. I’m concerned that losing even one of our special operators due to the vaccine mandate could compromise the military’s readiness and operational capabilities. At the very least, Secretary Austin should immediately present Congress with a plan to mitigate the fallout of losing highly trained servicemembers.

Secretary Austin claims that a vaccine mandate for our Armed Forces will save lives, however I have serious concerns that it will do the opposite. If our military’s ability to conduct global operations is negatively impacted, this mandate will endanger the lives of Americans and our freedoms by forcing brave men and women to leave the military.”

Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) said: “Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate is threatening the military readiness of our armed forces and damaging our national security. I will not stand by while ill-conceived policies directly put Americans in danger. Secretary Austin should reconsider his memorandum immediately.”

Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17) said: “Vaccine mandates not only violate service members’ liberty, but they can also threaten military readiness and pose national security risks. During my time in the Army, I saw the consequences of the disastrous Anthrax vaccine mandate, and I encourage the DOD not to repeat that mistake.”

Rep. Brian Mast (FL-18) said: “Ignoring the fact that imposing a vaccine mandate on our armed forces goes against the very freedoms they fight to defend, Joe Biden's big government edict can have major consequences on our military readiness. The Department of Defense needs to reconsider implementing this order immediately.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-50) said: “The demand by the Biden Administration for an unprecedented vaccine mandate is at once bad policy and a deeply divisive mistake. It won’t achieve the right public health objectives, but will further erode already diminished public confidence that this White House can lead the nation anywhere but backwards.”

Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-09): “President Biden’s vaccine mandate politics have put people out of work and disrupted our supply chains. Forcing such a mandate on our Armed Forces would have a similarly chilling effect that would hurt America’s readiness. Defense Secretary Austin should reconsider, and if he doesn’t, the adverse effect this will have on our military falls on him.”

Rep. Doug Lamborn (KS-05): “Special Operations Forces are crucial to military readiness and lethality. We cannot afford to lose even one of these highly trained and specialized operators. Joe Biden must halt his vaccination mandate.”

Co-signers include Representatives Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Pat Fallon (TX-04), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Randy Weber (TX-14), Brian Babin (TX-36), Doug Lamborn (KS-05), Bob Good (VA-05), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Andrew Clyde (GA-09), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Brian Mast (FL-18), Bill Posey (FL-08), Dan Bishop (NC-09), Jody Hice (GA-10), Greg Steube (FL-17), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Darrell Issa (CA-50), Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Tracey Mann (KS-01), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), and Chip Roy (TX-21).