U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) again called for protecting U.S. servicemembers from being fired over refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. About 5,700 members of the military have already been fired for not being vaccinated and 60,000 are at risk of being terminated.
“Communist China, North Korea, Iran, and Russia are threatening the safety and security of the United States and our freedom-loving partners across the globe,” said Senator Blackburn. “Meanwhile, the Biden administration is focused on firing servicemembers who make the personal decision not to get vaccinated. As a result, every branch of the U.S. military struggled to meet recruiting goals this fiscal year, including the U.S. Army, which fell 15,000 servicemembers short of its benchmark. These numbers reflect a tremendous disservice to our country and to the men and women willing to fight for it. While the threat and power of the New Axis of Evil expands, the United States needs every single brave American who volunteers to protect our nation.”
In July, Senator Blackburn introduced legislation to prohibit federal funds from being utilized to implement any requirement that a member of the National Guard receive a vaccination against COVID-19.
In September, Senator Blackburn introduced the Preserving the Readiness of our Armed Forces Act of 2022 to strengthen our military’s readiness by limiting COVID-related separations until recruiting benchmarks are met and ensure continued pay and benefits for servicemembers while religious and health accommodations are pending.
The United States Army has approved just 55 religious exemptions for active-duty soldiers, one exemption for a National Guard soldier and one for an Army reserve soldier.