In another attempt to force American citizens into getting the experimental COVID-19 vaccine, the Pentagon introduced a plan on Monday to require the vaccine for all U.S. military members.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin hopes to have President Joe Biden’s authorization by mid- September or when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the vaccine.
“Whichever comes first,” Austin said in the memo on the mandate, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Until the FDA approves the Pfizer vaccine, the Pentagon must have a waiver from Biden to mandate the vaccine, though Biden said he “strongly” supports the measures, according to The Hill.
“Being vaccinated will enable our service members to stay healthy, to better protect their families, and to ensure that our force is ready to operate anywhere in the world,” said Biden.
Although over 70 percent of active-duty troops are either fully or partially vaccinated already, as reported by Military.com, this vaccine mandate is likely to cause a stir.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced a bill to ban exactly this from happening back in July.
“I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated,” he wrote in a tweet.
I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated.— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 3, 2021
I introduced HR 3860 to prohibit any mandatory requirement that a member of the Armed Forces receive a vaccination against COVID-19.
It now has 24 sponsors. https://t.co/lbqYESmBYy
Though Massie’s efforts proved futile, he’s not the only one to push back on a military mandate.
Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) also noted that service members should be able to decide for themselves, especially given that the FDA has yet to approve the vaccine.
“Wearing our country’s uniform does not mean our service members sign away the right to make personal medical decisions, Green said.