Washington—Florida Senator Rick Scott joined Senators Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Rob Johnson, and Mike Braun, expressing their opposition to Senate Republican leadership moving forward with the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), demanding an amendment be introduced prohibiting the discharging of U.S. military personnel simply because of their COVID-19 vaccination status is not attached to the military funding measure.
“The Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccine mandate has ruined the livelihoods of men and women who have honorably served our country…While the Department of Defense certainly must make decisions that will bolster military readiness, the effects of the mandate are antithetical to readiness of our force, and the policy must be revoked,” the Senators wrote. “The United States simply cannot afford to discharge our brave men and women in uniform and lose the investments we have made into each and every one of them due to an inept bureaucratic policy…We respectfully request that the Senate vote to remedy a policy that adversely affects our service members and our national security.”
In addition, the Senators would like the amendment in question to “reinstate service members” who have been discharged because of their vaccination status, and give them “back pay.”
To date, 3,400 military personnel have been discharged from service for refusing to be vaccinated.
The amendment will also reinstate service members already discharged, with back pay.
According to a graphic Sen. Johnson held up during the press event, some 32,220 people have died after receiving the vaccinations, and over 1.4 million endured "adverse events" as a result of the shot. Sen. Johnson sources FDA and CDC VAERS data. This data is not verified and is compiled by "concerned individuals: patients, parents, health care providers, pharmacists and vaccine manufacturers."
“We should be taking care of our military members. You can have all the equipment you want, but its all tied to our men and women that serve each and every day,” said Sen. Scott.
Sen. Scott, who forcefully opposed “involuntary separation,” said that he didn’t remember having to take a mandatory vaccine in the military that “had the significant health concerns” the COVID vaccines have.
“There are significant concerns that people have with this. I took shots when I was in the Navy. I don’t remember one shot that I took that had the significant health concerns this has. Or something that came up so quickly, that there were mandates on it,” added Scott. “There are health concerns, religious concerns. We have to acknowledge that our military men and women have rights, it’s not just our Commander-in-Chief.”
We need to prohibit involuntary separation. We got to reinstate these individuals with backpay
Texas Senator Ted Cruz said that it was every American’s choice and right to either get vaccinated or not.
“That ought to be your individual choice. You choose to get the vaccine, that’s your choice. That’s your right. You can make that choice. But if you choose not to get the COVID vaccine, that should also be your choice. That should also be your right,” said Sen. Cruz.
Sen. Graham said that he would “not vote to get on this bill unless we have a vote to change this policy.”
Earlier in the day, the aforementioned senators and a few others that were not at the press conference, penned a letter to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Whip John Thune, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso, and Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt, expressing their thoughts on the matter.
Here are the signers:
U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Rick Scott (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Braun (R-IN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Josh Hawley (R-MO)