Joe Biden’s White House issued a statement on Tuesday saying that it “strongly opposes” a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that bans the Pentagon from punishing or dishonorably discharging any service member who refuses to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“The Administration strongly opposes section 716, which 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,” the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a statement of the annual bill that funds the Pentagon.
“To enable a uniformed force to fight with discipline, commanders must have the ability to give orders and take appropriate disciplinary measures,” the statement added, according to Daily Mail.
This comes one month after the Pentagon ordered all service members to get the vaccine, not ruling out court-martialing those who do not. At the time, the Pentagon said that around 800,000 of 1.4 million service members still had yet to get the shot.
During the budget bill’s markup under the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) proposed an amendment that later made its way into the bill as Section 716. It prohibited “any discharge but honorable” for vaccine refusal. This section pointed out that “many Americans have reservations about taking a vaccine that has only been available for less than a year.”
“I am appalled that the Biden Administration is trying to remove 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 this week. “This was a bipartisan amendment — every Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee agreed to it.”
Republicans have been fighting hard against vaccine mandates, particularly for the military.
“Our readiness, our ability to take on the enemy is being undermined by forcing young people, people who are perfectly healthy, perfectly able to fend off Covid, and are required to have the vaccine,” said Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO).
Biden’s administration also took issue with section 720, which exempts those who previously had tested positive for COVID-19 from needing to take the shot. In the bill, it’s stated that service members can be exempted for “administrative, medical, or religious reasons, including on the basis of possessing an antibody test result demonstrating previous COVID–19 infections.”
Biden’s White House fired back by saying that section 720 creates “a new and overly broad exemption from the vaccination requirement for previous infection that would undermine the effectiveness of the requirement.”
It’s absurd and disturbing that the Biden Administration is trying to force our troops to get vaccinated. These servicemen and women are risking their lives for their country, yet now they are being told that they must submit to taking a shot if they want to keep serving.
We can add this to the long list of reasons why Biden might just be the worst president our country has ever seen.