Rep. Matt Gaetz (R – FL) highlighted this week’s plight of active service members who are resisting the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccination mandate for the military on his podcast.
Gaetz showed three active duty personnel suing the Biden administration over the mandate, which Defense secretary Lloyd Austin ordered last august.
Gaetz stated that at a recent function in his district which has the highest concentration active-duty military personnel in the country, many service members voiced frustration about the mandate.
Gaetz stated Thursday that it was a Biden purge of the military.
Despite the fact that there has been a significant reduction in pandemic-related restrictions from cities and businesses throughout the country and despite the low number service members who have died due to the coronavirus infection, the Biden administration insists that troops get vaccinated.
About 3,400 troops have been disqualified so far for not following the mandate to get vaccinated. Although thousands have requested religious accommodation, only a few dozen have been granted. Members of Congress have evidence that they are being granted only to troops who have already left service.
Although it is not common for service personnel to publicly criticize an administration policy, the three interviewed on Gaetz’s podcast stated that they were speaking out because of their current leave and that their public affairs officers knew about the interview. They also said that they weren’t speaking on behalf the military.
Army Major Sam Sigoloff is a nine-year veteran of the military. He said he was selected to be the medical director at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. However, after a month of hard work, he was removed for granting medical exemptions for soldiers who didn’t want the vaccine. He also stated that he is in danger of losing Texas his medical license because he has not been practicing medicine since September 13, 2021. He stated that Ivermectin was banned from being used off-label by anyone not licensed to practice medicine.
Air Force Capt. Jordan Karr stated that she served in the military for nine years and that her entire family has served. She said that the current situation was “unprecedented”.
“The most troubling aspect of all this is the junior-enlisted. They’re the backbone to our forces and they go through a lot. The same goes for our cadets as well as our military academies. They feel lonely and alone. Karr stated that part of our mission is to show them they are not alone and that there are things that the American people can do for them.
Karr stated that morale within the military is “very low”. She also said that she knows of friends who were grounded for flying over the mandate. They are capable, they have been trained and the taxpayers pay them to fly. They aren’t allowed to fly as they have not been vaccinated. Ironically, they had to fly to visit vaccinated family members who were called out sick.
Air Force Master Sergeant. Gaetz was told by Nickolas Kupper that he had personally witnessed hundreds of denied requests for religious accommodation, including appeal requests. He also said that a few approved requests were among the many.
Kupper stated that all three of them begin with the assumption that the government has a strong interest to vaccine us. While they decided that all of our religious beliefs were to be truely held, they also determined that our beliefs weren’t as strong as the government’s desire and need for all of us to be vaccinated.
“The only approvals that they have been giving are those who are on terminal leave and are in their last months of life where they will not return to a base. In fact, the approval clearly states that they approve it because they won’t return to a base. He said that if the members don’t return to their duty station, it’s not an accommodation.
Gaetz stated that the House Armed Services Committee, which he is on, should be concerned about the impact of the mandate on military readiness.
Kupper stated that 95 servicemen were killed by COVID according to DOD numbers. This compares to more than 3,200 military personnel who were kicked out for not having the vaccine.
If readiness really is the issue, 95 against 3,200 is a big difference. Kupper stated that, while I do not speak for the DOD, my view is that 3,200 is the greater readiness issue, with thousands more behind it.
Sigoloff stated that service members are being retaliated at for their views regarding the mandate from coworkers.
“There are an incredible amount of retaliation taking place. He said that he had recently seen some charts from Alaska and asked him to check if he was guilty of malpractice. They claim that I am guilty of malpractice. They have now suspended me and placed a hit on my license, which will be sent to Texas.
Karr stated that members were coerced to get the vaccine. She said that once the mandates were implemented in the DOD, it was clear that there was coercion and abuse across all services.
She said, “Something very concerning is that if you’re a believer and are listening to this podcast you should understand that God-fearing members of the service are being deliberately purged from it.” “The discriminators are religious people, who hold religious convictions and are people of faith.
Sigoloff also agreed. It’s a deliberate purge. Anybody who disobeys an illegal order will be purged from the military. There is also a shadow policy that protects all those who enforce the shadow policy. All of us have submitted complaints to the inspector general, but they all fell on deaf ears.”
Kupper stated that he would like Congress and the government to hold the Department of Defense responsible to the law. He claimed that members of the military must take Pfizer vaccine and not the FDA-approved Comirnaty vaccine. Both products are identical, according to the FDA.
Gaetz stated that he would introduce amendments to 2023 National Defense Authorization Act to prohibit experimental vaccines for coronavirus vaccine. He also said that he would file an amendment to restore rank and pay to anyone who was forced or coerced into leaving the military because of the mandate.
Kupper predicted that the mandate would have an impact on future military recruitment.
“I used to recruit for many years and I can tell ya, just recently, there was a report that showed that the Air Force has lost half of their eligible population. People don’t want to join. Sincere, if they are my children, I won’t suggest that they join. Kupper stated that he would do anything to dissuade them.
He said, “I’m literally putting all my career on the line here. My wife and I have four children. One child is an Armenian adopted child. If I don’t receive this retirement, my medical will be lost. This is something that I have worked for my whole life, and I know what’s best. I know what is wrong. I am willing to sacrifice everything to do the right thing. And I made it clear to my leaders, that if someone like me is willing and able to sacrifice everything, they might be interested in listening to me. “I might not be insane.”
Service members suggested that service members who need help contact groups on Telegram, including Terminal CWO and Military Freedom Keepers.
Kupper stated that many service personnel who don’t want to get the vaccine feel scared and alone.