- FOX NEWS - Caitlin McFall - DEC 15, 2021 -
Lawmakers warn Biden vaccine mandate could weaken military forces
Several Republicans, led by California Rep. Darrell Issa, told President Biden on Tuesday he was committing a "grave mistake" in enforcing a vaccine mandate on all U.S. military personnel.
In a letter to the president obtained by Fox News, Issa pleads with the president as a father of a military service member.
"As the father of a major in the Judge Advocate General Corps who honorably served our nation in a foreign combat theater, you can fully and uniquely appreciate the sacrifices that our veterans make for America," Issa wrote.
The California Republican along with GOP Reps. Ronnie Jackson of Texas, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Neal Dunn of Florida, and Tracy Mann of Kansas, urged the president not to "punish and expel" all service members who refuse to get the vaccine.
The Department of Defense has reported a 90% vaccination rate, coupled with a 95% vaccination rate among Air Force and Navy service members.
Issa said falling short of a 100% vaccination rate should not be viewed as a shortcoming, but as "perhaps the most successful health utilization program in our nation’s history."
"As of today, however, tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are on the brink of being dismissed from service for disagreeing with your mandate or seeking a religious exemption," the congressmen wrote to the president.
The lawmakers warned that if service members are discharged for their failure to get shots, others have said they too will leave the military.
"There is simply no good reason to charge forward, decline all deliberation and recklessly damage – perhaps irreversibly – our nation’s security and force readiness," they wrote.
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