STEUBE: DoD COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Would Negatively Affect Military Readiness
WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) today sent a letter to President Biden, expressing concern about the possibility of shifting the voluntary COVID-19 vaccine effort to a mandatory program in the military, similar to the past Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program.
“As a former Airborne Infantry Officer and a JAG Corps Officer, I witnessed firsthand the negative consequences of mandating vaccines in our military with the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program,” Steube said. “Forced COVID-19 vaccinations would threaten our military readiness and would even cause military members to exit service, all while taking away rights from troops who are risking their lives to protect our freedoms.”
The COVID-19 vaccine is still in the process of receiving full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unlike the current COVID-19 vaccine effort, the mandatory Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program required troops to take a series of shots, and those who refused were often faced with harsh penalties. Many military officials testified in Congress that this controversial program contributed to what is known as the Gulf War Syndrome. Many recipients faced hospitalizations, chronic joint pain, arthritis, mental lapses, and several other negative side effects.
Steube has advocated for COVID-19 vaccinations to remain voluntary across the Department of Defense (DoD) so that U.S. troops can make their own medical decisions while in service. Some U.S. troops have reported adverse reactions to the vaccine, with severe side effects being reported in several cases.
The full text of the letter can be found here.