On Thursday, the United States Navy announced its intentions to discharge any and all sailors who have not yet taken the coronavirus vaccine, according to Fox News.
The Navy’s press release on the matter declares that November 14th is the final deadline for sailors to receive the vaccine, while the deadline for reservists is December 14th. In addition to being discharged, sailors who refuse to get the vaccine may also lose some of their veterans’ benefits.
“Those separated only for vaccine removal,” the statement reads, “will receive no lower than a general discharge under honorable conditions. This type of discharge could result in the loss of some veterans’ benefits.” In addition, the statement said that the Navy “may also seek recoupment of applicable bonuses, special and incentive pays, and the cost of training and education for service members refusing the vaccine.”
The declaration comes after the entirety of the Department of Defense, under the command of Lloyd Austin, ordered every branch of the military to vaccinate all of their members against the coronavirus. Currently, about 98 percent of the Navy has taken the vaccine.
The statement tried to justify the decision as a matter of maintaining the strength of the Navy, saying that “Sailors must be prepared to execute their mission at all times, in places throughout the world, including where vaccination rates are low and disease transmission is high. Immunizations are of paramount importance to protecting the health of the force and the warfighting readiness of the Fleet.”
In addition to the strict mandate for the military, Joe Biden has ordered all federal employees to be vaccinated by November 22nd, and that all federal contractors have their workers vaccinated by December 8th. Beyond these measures, Biden has also targeted private businesses, ordering the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to force all private businesses with more than 100 employees to either mandate vaccines, or otherwise face fines.