President Joe Biden just came out against a proposal to stop U.S. military members from being dishonorably discharged for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Washington Examiner reports.
In other words, Biden and his administration find it completely acceptable to dishonorably discharge an otherwise honorable U.S. service member simply because he or she prefers not to take the COVID-19 vaccination. It’s a disgusting position to adopt, and could have disastrous, lifelong consequences for our troops.
Last month, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all U.S. service members, under Biden’s direction. The mandate does allow service members to apply for either a religious or medical exemption, but there is no guarantee that such an exemption will be granted.
If an exemption is not granted, the only option left for service members who do not want the vaccination is to leave the service. If a service member decides not to leave or otherwise cannot, that’s when a dishonorable discharge becomes a real possibility.
Lawmakers step in
One congressman, however, has been trying to prevent this asinine policy from being implemented.
Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), a military veteran, has been working to stop the Pentagon from dishonorably discharging a service member who chooses not to get vaccinated. Accordingly, he has proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would be a reasonable way to solve the problem.
This week, however, Biden and his administration came out against Green’s amendment. Biden’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) specifically said that the administration “strongly opposes” the amendment because it would “detract from readiness and limit a commander’s options for enforcing good order and discipline when a Service member fails to obey a lawful order to receive a vaccination.”
Green, in response, released a statement in which he said that he is “disgusted” with the Biden administration’s opposition to his amendment.
“I am disgusted that the Biden administration is trying to gut my amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that prevents anything but an honorable discharge for service members who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Green said.
“Every Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee agreed to my amendment,” Green added. “It is tragic and horrifying that the Biden administration can’t respect the rights of our military that every House Democrat on the Committee voted for.”
As of last week, it’s reported that about 8% of active service members have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Another 5% have been fully vaccinated.
It is unclear how many service members were dishonorably discharged for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine, but if there have been, it’s safe to say that legal fights will soon follow.