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The Pentagon’s latest announcement will have a major impact on approximately 1.3 million service members in the U.S.
The Pentagon announced all U.S. military troops to take the COVID-19 vaccine by September 15th.
The AP reported that “the deadline could be pushed up if the vaccine receives final FDA approval or infection rates continue to rise.”
“I will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon” licensing by the Food and Drug Administration “whichever comes first,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said to service personnel.
“I will not hesitate to act sooner or recommend a different course to the President if l feel the need to do so. To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force,” the Defense Secretary added.
“Some unvaccinated service members have suggested they’d get the shot once it’s required, but others are flatly opposed,” the report said. “Military officials have said that once the vaccine is mandated, a refusal could constitute failure to obey an order, and may be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
“Army guidance, for example, includes counseling soldiers to ensure they understand the purpose of the vaccine and the threat the disease poses,” the AP continued. “The Army also notes that if a soldier ‘fails to comply with a lawful order to receive a mandatory vaccine, and does not have an approved exemption, a commander may take appropriate disciplinary action’.”
The punishment for refusal to obey an order may escalate up to court martial.
An Armed Forces member refusing to take the vaccine is subject to punishment under the U.C.M.J.
This decision comes as the Biden administration previously noted that they are going after our active-duty forces in the U.S. military, forcing them to take the Covid vaccine drug via a shot in the arm.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was expected to announce a mandatory vaccine policy for all active-duty forces in the U.S. military, Fox News confirms.
All 1.3 million service members will be required to get the shot. President Biden is also urging all federal employees to get vaccinated or else “you’re not as smart” as Biden thinks, calling into question the intelligence of Americans who opt not to receive the shot.
There are serious questions remaining about the legality of mandating the military to take a vaccine that has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
More from Fox News:
DOJ officials said a vaccine mandate would require a presidential waiver.
Officials told Fox News that Austin will make his recommendation to the White House tomorrow, and the formal announcement is expected to come Friday. About 64% of active-duty forces are fully vaccinated. Among all U.S. adults, about 70% have received at least one shot.
Last week, Biden said federal employees and on-site contractors would be required to get the vaccine or be subject to regular testing.
The requirement affected the Defense Department’s civilian employees but did not extend to active-duty service members. The upcoming application to active-duty service members was first reported by the New York Times.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a more than 64 percent increase in the number of coronavirus cases confirmed over the last seven days – bringing caseloads back on par with figures reported in mid-February.