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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Shooting down Biden’s vaccine mandate

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President Biden’s ill-considered COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military personnel is taking well-deserved fire from all sides. If it comes to a crashing end, it will represent a victory for common sense. Making compulsory an injection that has not been properly tested constitutes a rash violation of the principle of informed consent, the bedrock of doctor-patient relational ethics. America’s warriors did not sign up to serve as medical guinea pigs.

Fortunately, House Republicans have made repealing the 2021 mandate for service members a condition for signing on to the Pentagon’s $847 billion National Defense Authorization Act. To their credit, Democrats agreed to add language rescinding the mandate, and the full House approved the measure Thursday, 350-80. The Senate is expected to follow suit.

All the while, Commander in Chief Biden and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin sputter in defense of their vax diktat. Their exasperated “because I said so” may work with toddlers, but not with young adults weighing whether to risk their lives in defense of freedom.

Forcing U.S. warriors to get the MRNA jab that was scantily tested and authorized only on an emergency basis has done more to decimate the U.S. military’s strength than the nation’s enemies have. Thousands on active duty have been tossed from service for refusing the vax order, and tens of thousands have chosen not to apply in the first place. The Army missed its fiscal 2022 recruitment goal by 25%; when fiscal 2023 began on Oct. 1, the Marines had only 30% of their upcoming annual goal locked in; the Navy and Air Force a measly 10%.

Even at the pandemic’s peak in January 2021, the U.S. death rate for the 18-29 age group — the demographic from which most recruits are drawn — was a vanishingly tiny 0.24 per 100,000 population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rising slightly in August 2021 to 0.36, it has only fallen since: The CDC’s latest posting on Nov. 26 read 0.00, as in zero.

It was a mere two years ago that White House health officials assured the public that a double vaccination would spare them from sickness. Since then, an estimated 95% of Americans — 90% of them vaccinated — have come down with the virus at least once, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Even as successive vaccine formulations apparently lose their effectiveness, citizens are being urged to submit to the latest “bivalent” booster.

All the while, the number of adverse effects of the vaccines reported continues to climb — currently nearing 1 million. Prominent is myocarditis, heart inflammation that affects mostly young men — the military’s most coveted recruits. Is it any wonder that young and healthy Americans weighing whether to submit to a series of untested jabs as a condition of enlisting are turning thumbs-down?

Experienced health professionals say COVID-19 has diminished to the point at which it should be treated like the seasonal flu. Accordingly, Mr. Biden must surrender his self-appointed role as the nation’s top medical authority and honor the right of prospective patriots to informed consent in consultation with their own physicians.

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