U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham reacts to proposed repeal of military vaccine mandate
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– South Carolina’s U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is reacting to a provision that would no longer mandate the COVID vaccine for American service members or recruits.
Per a release, Graham says he is applauding the inclusion of a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, which has now passed the U.S. House of Representatives and should soon pass the U.S. Senate, that would no longer mandate the COVID vaccine for American service members or recruits.
In the release, Graham said “I think the policy of discharging people simply because they refuse to get the COVID vaccine makes no sense,” said Graham. “At a time when we are facing recruiting shortages, it’s literally insane to drive men and women out of the military because of their refusal to take this vaccine.”
In a release, Graham said while training costs vary between services, the Army spends an estimated $15,000 in recruiting costs to bring an individual into the service and another $50,000 to $75,000 to prepare them to join their first unit. Also, the military is facing severe recruiting challenges, with military recruitment down 23 percent from annual targets, according to the Republican Senator.
“We are kicking people out of the military who are willing to get shot at because they won’t take a shot,” continued Graham. “All the while we are allowing millions of people to come into the country through our southern border who are not vaccinated at all. It makes no sense. Congress has the ability to change this policy and we will.”
In the release, Graham said since the COVID vaccine mandate was put in place in August 2021, 3,700 Marines, 1,800 soldiers, 2,000 sailors, and 800 airmen and guardians have been discharged for refusing the COVID vaccine. Graham said the next step is pushing legislation in Congress to allow those service members to rejoin the military and receive back pay if their discharge was solely due to the refusal of the vaccine.