Twenty-one Republican governors, led by Gov. Bill Lee (TN), sent a letter on Wednesday to the leaders of Congress objecting to the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccine mandate on U.S. service members and calling on the Congress to overturn it.
“We ask you to take immediate action to remove and prohibit the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on members of the U.S. Armed Forces, issued by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on August 24, 2021—either through the National Defense Authorization Act or a standalone bill. The Biden vaccine mandate on our military creates a national security risk that severely impacts our defense capabilities abroad and our state readiness here at home,” they wrote.
They argued the mandate was creating a “two-front problem” — service members leaving the military and new recruits not signing up.
“Implementation of the mandate has placed our nation’s military readiness at risk,” they wrote, adding;
As Governors, our ability to respond to natural disasters and conduct emergency operations is contingent upon the strength and size of our National Guard units. As Congressional leaders, it is your duty to provide for the national defense, and therefore, we call upon you to protect the men and women in uniform—who protect us—from an unnecessary vaccine mandate. As President Biden, himself, stated on September 18, 2022, ‘The pandemic is over.’
Governors who signed include: Kay Ivey (AL) Doug Ducey (AZ), Asa Hutchinson (AR), Ron DeSantis (FL), Kim Reynolds (IA), Brad Little (ID), Eric Holcomb (IN), Tate Reeves (MS), Mike Parson (MO), Greg Gianforte (MT), Chris Sununu (NH), Pete Ricketts (NE), Doug Burgum (ND), Kevin Stitt (OK), Henry McMaster (SC), Kristi Noem (SD), Greg Abbott (TX), Spencer Cox (UT), Glenn Youngkin (VA), and Mark Gordon (WY).