A group of 21 Republican governors on Wednesday sent a letter to congressional leaders calling on them to prohibit President Joe Biden from issuing a "COVID-19 vaccine mandate" for military members.
The letter is addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and it calls on them "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 governors argue that "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 go on to say that the vaccine mandate has caused "a two-front problem" in the military: "current servicemembers are leaving our ranks, and new recruits are not signing up to join."
The letter concludes: "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.' "
The 21 signatories are Govs. Kay Ivey of Alabama, Doug Ducey of Arizona, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Ron DeSantis of Florida, Brad Little of Idaho, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, Mike Parson of Missouri, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Bill Lee of Tennessee, Greg Abbott of Texas, Spencer Cox of Utah, Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.
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