Congressman Murphy against mandatory vaccination of troops

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 11:18 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina congressman said that he is against COVID-19 vaccine mandates for troops.

District 3 Representative Greg Murphy said that he sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about the Department of Defense’s decision to require the vaccine.

Murphy said that he has concerns about operational readiness and national security due to servicemembers being relieved of duty if they refuse to get the shot.

“While I am sympathetic to the premise of preventing our servicemembers from getting sick with COVID, relieving our patriotic and committed U.S. servicemembers because they desire not to be vaccinated is ethically troubling and could critically hinder our national security and readiness,” said Murphy. “During a time of high stress as our service members respond to crises throughout the world, it is reprehensible that our Department of Defense would consider relieving Marines, airmen, and soldiers who have made the choice to selflessly serve our nation in the Armed Forces simply because of COVID-19 vaccination status. I worry that dismissing or refusing to deploy unvaccinated servicemembers could critically impede operational readiness and undermine U.S. national security.”

A memo from Secretary Austin in August argues that COVID is a threat to readiness.

“To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force. After careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership, and with the support of the President, I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people,” Austin wrote.

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