U.S. Rep. Barry Moore has again called on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to rescind a COVID vaccine mandate for the military.
The Enterprise Republican said this is his second letter asking Austin to drop the mandate since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased requirements.
According to the congressman, Austin has yet to respond to a letter sent Aug. 23.
“Since our still-unanswered August letter to Secretary Austin, President Biden has declared the pandemic over, yet military leaders continue to hold patriotic Americans desiring to serve their country hostage with unnecessary vaccine mandates,” Moore said in a statement.
In the letter, Moore said the vaccine mandate harms military readiness.
“Mr. Secretary, the military has failed to meet its recruitment goals,” the letter said, “with the Army only meeting 52% of its FY22 recruitment goal and nearly 20,000 service members face discharge relating to the vaccine. As of this fall, the Army cut its projected FY23 end strength by 12,000 soldiers. The pandemic has been declared over, but the military continues to uphold a standard that is affecting force readiness. This is particularly troubling given the CDC’s guidance that makes little distinction between the vaccinated and unvaccinated.”
The letter concludes by calling for the mandate to be immediately ended.
“To ensure the continued readiness of our nation’s military and to reflect the most up to date guidelines released by the CDC,” the letter reads. “I again request that the military reverse its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all military personnel and civilian contractors. I also request that those who were unfairly forced to separate from the military be given the option to be reinstated with back pay.”
Moore also said in a separate statement, “If this administration believes military vaccine mandates continue to be justified despite revised CDC guidance and clear direct damage to our force readiness, Secretary Austin must make clear to Congress and the American people the science and decision-making process he is relying upon. Without this information, the American people will justifiably believe our military is sacrificing their welfare for wokeness.”
Also signing on to the letter were Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Ben Cline (R-Va.), Russ Fulcher (R-ID) and Byron Donalds (R-Fla).