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January 4, 2023

The Pentagon’s Vax Double-Cross

What was thought to be a done deal regarding the repeal of the vaccine mandate has been undermined by Army bureaucrats.

“This just smells of bureaucrats and a secretary of defense who disagrees with the policy trying to parse words.”

So said Florida Republican Congressman Mike Waltz, who added, “That was the agreed upon language that went into the NDAA that Congress — the elected Congress, not the appointed members of the Pentagon — voted on.”

Waltz sounds upset, and he ought to be. He and his fellow Republican lawmakers appear to have been double-crossed following their fight to repeal the Biden administration’s 16-month-old COVID-19 vaccination mandate across the Armed Forces in exchange for their support of the 2023 version of the military’s $858 billion annual spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act. At issue is the latest COVID-19 guidance from the U.S. Army, which appears to indicate that the NDAA’s repeal of the vax requirement doesn’t apply to the National Guard and reserves.

This is a policy battle that seemed to have taken a turn for the better in mid-December. At the time, we reported that a deal had been struck regarding repeal of the vax mandate, which had been handed down by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in August 2021 and which required all service members to take the jab or face expulsion for refusing an order. (Currently, some 3,400 principled and courageous warriors who’d been discharged as of April are yet to be reinstated, despite this being an announced objective of Republican lawmakers in both houses.)

For Waltz, the fight is personal. In addition to serving on the Armed Services Committee, he’s also the ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Readiness. Beyond that, he’s a 26-year Army veteran, a decorated special forces officer and Green Beret who served multiple combat tours in Afghanistan, and he currently serves in the National Guard.

Given our military’s alarming inability to hit its recruiting numbers — which were down a whopping 23% last time we checked — it would seem that repealing the vax mandate would be a no-brainer. After all, it directly affects our young and future warriors, and their benefits to taking the mRNA vaccine may well be outweighed by its potential health risks. At least that’s what the science indicates. But no one ever accused Democrats of following the science when it comes into conflict with their agenda or their narrative.

The fight in Congress clearly isn’t over. Not for Waltz, not for his Armed Services Committee colleagues, and not for our own colleagues here at The Patriot Post. “The will and intent of Congress was clear,” said Waltz. “To try to parse out the National Guard from the rest of the military is galling. It’s offensive.”

You’re telling us. According to Waltz, members of the Armed Services Committee are working with the secretary of the Army to “sort this out.”

UPDATE: Congressman Waltz gets results. On January 10, Defense Secretary Austin formally removed the Guard and Reserve from the vaccination requirement. His new memorandum reads: “I also hereby rescind my November 30, 2021, memorandum, ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Members of the National Guard and the Ready Reserve.’”

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