Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said he was informed by some members of the U.S. military that they would leave if the armed forces mandated a COVID-19 vaccine, coming after a report claimed Army headquarters told commanders to prepare for mandatory vaccinations in September.
“I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated. I introduced HR 3860 to prohibit any mandatory requirement that a member of the Armed Forces receive a vaccination against COVID-19. It now has 24 sponsors,” Massie wrote on Twitter. He didn’t provide more details.
The lawmaker was referring to a report published by the Army Times over the weekend that detailed an executive order sent by the Department of the Army Headquarters that commands should be prepared to administer COVID-19 vaccines starting as early as Sept. 1. The date is contingent on when the Food and Drug Administration issues its full approval of the vaccines.
It’s not clear when the FDA will approve the vaccines, according to an agency spokesperson.
The Army Times reported it obtained the directive, HQDA EXORD 225-21, COVID-19 Steady State, which reads: “Commanders will continue COVID-19 vaccination operations and prepare for a directive to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for service members [on or around] 01 September 2021, pending full FDA licensure. Commands will be prepared to provide a backbrief on servicemember vaccination status and way ahead for completion once the vaccine is mandated.”
An EXORD is a directive issued by the president to the defense secretary to execute a military operation.
The Epoch Times has contacted the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army for comment. A U.S. Army spokesperson told the Army Times that “we do not comment on leaked documents” and added that “the vaccine continues to be voluntary.”
“If we are directed by [Department of Defense] to change our posture,” the spokesperson added, “we are prepared to do so.”
On Monday, Massie noted that his tweet was “targeted” by “science-illiterate, military hating, angry blue [checkmark]” users on Twitter. “There are no health outcomes based studies that show any benefit from the vaccine for those who have already had COVID,” he wrote.
The congressman also pointed to a Department of Defense study published in late June that found a higher number of military members who got the vaccine experienced higher than expected rates of heart inflammation.
U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force physicians found 23 cases of myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation, in previously healthy men. They developed the condition within four days of getting the vaccine, the study published in JAMA Cardiology found.
It comes weeks after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel found a higher rate of heart inflammation after mRNA vaccines were administered. However, the agency and other health officials have said the benefit of getting the vaccine outweighs the risks.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
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