By Calvin Freiburger
The futures of more than 60,000 U.S. Army Reservists and National Guardsmen who remain unvaccinated for COVID-19 are in jeopardy after the deadline for receiving the controversial shots passed.
The Army Times reported that, a week after the June 30 vaccination deadline, an estimated 12% of the Army Reserve (22,740 troops) remains unvaccinated, as does 13.1% of the Army National Guard (44,000). They are tentatively slated for discharge, and in the meantime are forbidden from participating in drill weekends or training exercises.
“We’re not giving up on anybody until the separation paperwork is signed and completed,” said Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen of the National Guard, who added that soldiers will be given “every opportunity to get vaccinated and continue their military career.”
Nathalie Grogan of the Center for a New American Security, however, thinks the Army should prepare itself for the fallout of ousting a “pretty significant” number of servicemembers, since part-time soldiers generally have civilian jobs to fall back on.
“In the reserve components … they just don’t have the full leverage as [active duty with] your livelihood, your paycheck and your family’s benefits,” Grogan said. “We’re not really going to get many more people vaccinated [ … the mandate] just makes the pool of eligible soldiers … that much smaller for federal missions than [it] would otherwise be.”
Last August, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed the secretaries of all military branches to “immediately begin full [COVID] vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces” and “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.” The majority of service members complied, but tens of thousands remain unvaccinated, with many seeking exemptions.
Several thousand have secured exemptions for non-religious reasons, but the military has been largely unwilling to approve religious exemptions for the shots, which were developed and/or tested with the use of fetal cells from aborted babies. In December, the military began discharging soldiers for vaccine refusal, prompting legal challenges that have so far been neglected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
While defenders of vaccine mandates are quick to point out that the military has long required soldiers to vaccinate against a range of diseases due to the harsh and exotic locales soldiers are sent to for extended periods of time and the close quarters they typically share with one another, previous vaccines were typically subjected to far more evaluation and development time before being put into widespread use than the COVID shots received during their accelerated clinical trials under former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative.
In March, it was found that 11,289 cases of pericarditis/myocarditis after COVID vaccination were reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database between January 1 and February 25 of this year, which is already 47% of the 24,177 reports for the same submitted in all of 2021. An April study out of Israel indicates that COVID infection alone cannot account for such cases, despite claims to the contrary.
COVID shot defenders claim that VAERS offers an exaggerated view of a vaccine’s potential risks, as anyone can submit a report without vetting it, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention researchers have acknowledged “high verification rate of reports of myocarditis to VAERS after mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination,” leading to the conclusion that “under-reporting is more likely” than over-reporting.
But VAERS is not the only data source indicating cause for concern. LifeSiteNews has reported on the forced release of Pfizer data the company had tried to keep sealed until 2076, including reports of 158,893 serious adverse events after vaccination in dozens of countries around the world from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2022.
Data from the Pentagon’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) has been similarly alarming, showing that 2021 saw drastic spikes in a variety of diagnoses for serious medical issues over the previous five-year average, including hypertension (2,181%), neurological disorders (1,048%), multiple sclerosis (680%), Guillain-Barre syndrome (551%), breast cancer, (487%), female infertility (472%), pulmonary embolism (468%), migraines (452%), ovarian dysfunction (437%), testicular cancer (369%), and tachycardia (302%).
The vaccine mandates’ impact on American military readiness has been a long-running concern.
“I’m aware of more than 700 pilots that are actively unvaccinated and trying to stand up for their constitutional and statutory rights within the military. The implications of 700 pilots is pretty extreme,” Air Force Academy Lt. John Bowes warned last month. “We’re already in an extreme pilot shortage in the Department of Defense, and that’s across all service branches.”
In April, attorney and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is representing 36 Air Force members suing the Biden administration over the mandate, argued that his clients, including 17 pilots, represent a $93.5 million training investment. “Most of them are very senior pilots, and the notion that we would fire these pilots that the United States has invested tens of millions of dollars in is just outrageous. We are impairing our readiness,” Kobach said. “There are a couple from Texas who are full-time instructor pilots and the commander at that base is complaining that we aren’t training enough pilots fast enough, yet the military is forcing the removal of highly experienced, highly trained pilots and forcing the removal of the instructors who would train new pilots.”