Top Senate Armed Services Republican Asks DOD to Suspend Vaccine Mandate

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee wants Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to suspend the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, claiming a “lack of clarity and consistency” among the military services in implementing the order.

Austin in late August ordered all service members and defense personnel to “immediately begin” getting the coronavirus vaccine, though he left it up to the individual military services to decide when to set deadlines for the shot.

Most service members have received their vaccines, but tens of thousands have yet to comply. Now, with deadlines looming, national security could be at risk, says committee ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

“At a time when our adversaries continue to increase their quantitative and qualitative advantage against our forces, we should seek to ensure that no policy, even unintentionally, hinders military readiness,” Inhofe writes in a Monday letter to Austin. “Most troublesome is the lack of clarity and consistency among the services as they look to implement the administration’s hasty vaccination mandate.”

Keep reading at The Hill.