The Biden White House believes U.S. service members who won’t comply with the vaccine mandate must be subjected to the possibility of dishonorable discharge.
In a comment this week, the White House forcefully rejected a measure in the National Defense Authorization Act stopping the Pentagon from dishonorably discharging any military member who declines the vaccine.
“The White House strongly opposes section 716, which would remove from our readiness and limit the commander’s options for enforcing discipline when a Service member does not obey a lawful order to get a vaccination,” the administration argued. “To allow a uniformed force to fight using discipline, commanders need the ability to give orders and take appropriate disciplinary actions.”
The provision, put forward by Republican Congressman Mark Green (Tenn.) during the bill’s initial phase, guaranteed that military members removed for their refusal of the vaccine would get nothing but an honorable discharge, saying that “many Americans have concerns about taking the vaccine that has been available for under a year.”
“Any discharge other than an honorable one means a dereliction of duty or a failure to do the best of the ability of a person,” the provision says.
Biden last month gave a sweeping directive requiring all United States service members to get vaccinated. When the directive was given, over 800,000 service members had not gotten the vaccine, according to Pentagon data.
The controversial order got immediate backlash from conservatives in Washington and military members. But the Pentagon has said that the mandate was a “lawful order” and must be followed.
In a comment to the Daily Mail, Green stated he was “appalled” by the White House’s opposition to his measure, saying that, “This was a bipartisan measure — every Dem. on the House Armed Services Committee had agreed to it.”
The news outlet recalled comments that Green made this month when he said that, “No American who serves our Nation should get punished for a personal medical decision.”
GOP have apparently resisted President Joe Biden’s attempts to enforce vaccination mandates among service members, federal workers, and even recently, companies with over 100 employees. These attempts have been unsuccessful.
Author: Blake Ambrose