Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced a resolution to call for an end to President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates for federal employees, service members, and contractors after he declared the pandemic over on September 18, 2022. Lankford has long called for Americans to make their own medical decisions when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
“Biden has declared that the pandemic is over—so his overreaching vaccine mandate on federal workers, service members, and government contractors should be over as well,” said Lankford.“ Each individual American should be able to make their own health decisions and not fear they will lose their job if they do not agree with the President’s vaccine mandate.”
Lankford has been working to defend Americans from overreaching vaccine mandates for federal employees and service members. Lankford sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about concerns he has after reports surfaced revealing deplorable living conditions for service members who have religious objections to the COVID vaccine. He joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 12 of their colleagues to introduce the Allowing Military Exemptions, Recognizing Individual Concerns About New Shots (AMERICANS) Act, and he introduced the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act to prohibit the Department of Defense from giving service members a dishonorable discharge for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which was ultimately solidified in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which Lankford supported and was signed into law.
Regarding religious accommodations for service members, Lankford previously sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin demanding to know why, despite 19,979 known requests for religious accommodations from the COVID-19 vaccine, the Department had granted nearly zero religious accommodations among the service branches. The letter requested a response by February 1. When he did not receive a timely response, Lankford requested that the Acting Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General Sean O’Donnell conduct an audit of DOD’s COVID-19 vaccine exemption process, and the IG responded 10 days later that an audit would be conducted.
Lankford also called to defund Biden’s federal vaccine mandate earlier this year.