Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., celebrated the elimination of vaccine requirements for U.S. service members Tuesday but called to remove "all COVID vax mandates" across the country.
Massie's comments follow the passage of the latest National Defense Authorization Act, which rescinds the "Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members" order.
"The military COVID vaccine mandate will end!" Massie rejoiced on Twitter. "Next steps: end all COVID vax mandates (healthcare workers and foreign visitors), and reinstate all members of military wrongfully terminated due to vax."
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., the House Armed Services Committee's top GOP member, parroted Massie's praise of retiring the military mandate to The Associated Press.
"We have real recruitment and retention problems across all services," he said. "This was gas on the fire exacerbating our existing problem. And the president said, you know, the pandemic is over. It's time for us to recognize that and remove this unnecessary policy."
Despite the Biden administration's failed attempt to order private businesses to mandate vaccines last year, the Supreme Court also permitted a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services order requiring healthcare workers to receive the shot.
That order, along with a mandate that foreign visitors provide "proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States from a foreign country," is still in effect.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID tracker showed 303,101 new virus cases this week, with 1,780 deaths. In addition, the daily average of hospitalization is 4,913, and roughly 12.7% of the population has more than five booster doses.
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