Republican Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson and a group of House Republicans sent a letter Friday to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, calling on him to prove that a vaccine mandate does not negatively impact readiness and or negatively impact the DOD’s ability to conduct operations globally despite a possible loss of personnel.
The Daily Caller first obtained the letter, which was spearheaded by Jackson and signed by over 20 House Republicans. In the letter, the lawmakers warn Austin of the impact of losing any number of highly trained service members, saying the mandate could impact the Special Operations Forces community specifically.
“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 could 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,” Jackson said in a statement to the Daily Caller before sending the letter.
“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 present Congress with a plan to mitigate the fallout of losing highly trained servicemembers immediately. 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,” Jackson continued.
READ THE LETTER HERE:
“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,” he added. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans To Introduce ‘FREEDOM Act,’ Would Fight Biden’s Vaccine Mandates)
Jackson introduced the Forbidding Repressive Executive Efforts and Denouncing Overreaching Mandates (FREEDOM) Act in October in the House. The legislation attempts to push back against President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates. The Freedom Act would require all federal agencies and departments to issue a report on the number of employees who have quit or will quit because of the vaccine mandate, and to estimate the cost and time associated with filling those positions. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Senate Republicans To Introduce Legislation To Block Federal Agencies From Requiring Proof Of Vaccination)
Biden urged more private sector companies to impose vaccine requirements in August after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer vaccine.
The Pentagon is requiring all military service members to get vaccinated against COVID-19.