Republican bill defends service members against ‘coercive’ Covid-19 vaccine policies

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Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), and 12 other Republicans have introduced a bill designed to protect military service members from punishment for declining the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Allowing Military Exemptions, Recognizing Individual Concerns About New Shots (AMERICANS) Act of 2022 is designed to counter the Biden administration’s efforts to coerce and punish Armed Forces personnel who do not want or need the vaccination, which has proven largely ineffective at preventing infection, transmission or illness from Covid. The bill also includes additional accountability measures to increase transparency.

It is absolutely unacceptable that the Biden administration is trying to coerce our men and women in uniform to violate their conscience and religious beliefs, let alone on an issue as polarizing as the Covid-19 vaccine. The AMERICANS Act will ensure that these and similar efforts to politicize our military on this issue are blocked.” Cruz said in a statement regarding the bill.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

Sen. Cruz, Colleagues Defend Service Members from Vaccine Punishment with AMERICANS Act _ Senator Ted Cruz

This bill would require the Secretary of Defense to do the following:

  • Make every effort to retain unvaccinated service members
  • Strengthen language to ensure service members receive discharge classifications commensurate with their record of service
  • Require the Department of Defense (DoD) to report the number and type of Covid-19 vaccine religious exemptions that have been denied
  • Create an exemption from Covid-19 vaccine requirements for service members with natural immunity

The act would also protect service academy students and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) members in the same way.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

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