The Pentagon issued a plan backed by President Joe Biden that starting in mid-September, all members of the US military will have to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated in a memorandum that that timeline could be pushed up if the FDA sooner announces full approval of one of the vaccines. Pentagon officials emphasized the importance of getting the troops vaccinated, calling it necessary to maintain military readiness. President Biden said in a statement: “I strongly support Secretary Austin’s message to the Force today on the Department of Defense’s plan to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for our service members not later than mid-September.” This was obviously the right move from the Department of Defense, but it’s not going to come without backlash. There are many right-wing members of the US military who are not going to be willing to go along with this new mandate (even though plenty of other vaccines are required for servicemembers). The irony of this is that the same people who believe the military is going too “woke” are also too afraid to get a vaccine already taken by hundreds of millions of people and that has been overwhelmingly proven to be safe and effective.
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