WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today introduced legislation to defend service members who have been discharged for exercising their right to medical privacy by declining to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The bill would require the Secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force to reinstate, at their previous rank, the soldiers, sailors, Airmen and Marines who separated from service following President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.
“Vaccine mandates have been used by the Biden Administration to wipe critical thinkers and conservative perspectives out of our military, and America is less safe as a result,” Rep. Mast said. “This bill will strengthen military readiness, as well as get these young men and women back doing what they love: serving our nation.”
To date, 3,350 soldiers - the rough equivalent of three battalions - have declined to get the vaccine and are at risk of being discharged from the Army this week. More than 100 Marines were separated from service and dozens of sailors were removed from the Navy’s ranks in December. Out of the thousands of religious and medical exemptions requested by members of the military, only two have been granted.
Former President Donald Trump said in January that “Congress should pass a bill rehiring every single member of the military who was cruelly and wrongfully terminated by Joe Biden and his ridiculous COVID mandate.” This bill would do exactly that.
The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Jeff Duncan (SC-3), Brian Babin (TX-36), Tracey Mann (KS-1), Matt Gaetz (FL-1), Greg Steube (FL-17), Jody Hice (GA-10), Scott Perry (PA-10), Glenn Grothman (WI-6), Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Bill Posey (FL-8), Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Lisa McClain (MI-10), Matthew Rosendale (MT-AL), Bill Huizenga (MI-2), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Andy Biggs (AZ-5), Michael Cloud (TX-27), Rick Allen (GA-12), Dan Bishop (NC-9), Billy Long (MO-7) and Mike Kelly (PA-16).
The full text of the bill can be found here.