Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said he was informed by some members of the U.S. military that they would quit if the armed forces mandated a COVID-19 vaccine, coming after a report claimed that Army headquarters told commanders to prepare for mandatory vaccinations in September.
“I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated. I introduced HR 3860 to prohibit any mandatory requirement that a member of the Armed Forces receive a vaccination against COVID-19. It now has 24 sponsors,” Massie wrote on Twitter. He didn’t provide more details.
It isn’t clear how the service members could quit or how many would try to do so. Once a member reports to their first duty station, they are obligated to stay within the service of the armed forces. If a service member leaves without approval, they can be declared AWOL, or absent without leave.
The Republican lawmaker was referring to a report published
by the Army Times over the weekend that detailed an executive order
sent by the Department of the Army Headquarters that commands should be
prepared to administer COVID-19 vaccines starting as early as Sept. 1.
The date is contingent on when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
issues its full approval of the vaccines.
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