Former US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta encouraged the president on Saturday Joe Biden All soldiers are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, calling it a “national security” issue.
“Frankly, I think the president should issue an order to require everyone in the army to be injected with COVID-19,” Panetta said in an interview with Greta Van Susteren of Grey TV, according to Hill’s report. “This is an issue involving our national security.”
His remarks are in Pentagon Consider the possibility of requiring the military to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before September 1.Food and Drug Administration) agree completely. Currently, service personnel are required to receive 17 vaccines, including measles, hepatitis, mumps, flu, etc. If the department decides to implement this policy, COVID-19 vaccination will be one of the vaccines.
Panetta Barack ObamaThe government argued that “we have no reason not to require” soldiers to be vaccinated and said that he had received all the vaccines he needed while serving in the military.
He added: “The last thing you need to do is to make our soldiers unable to respond to missions in the army because they are infected with COVID-19. There is no excuse.”
The Pentagon cannot force the military to be vaccinated because it is still only authorized for emergency use, but Biden has the right to allow exceptions.
In April of this year, after obtaining FDA approval, Biden opened the door for mandatory vaccination of service personnel. “I don’t know. I will leave it to the army,” he told National Broadcasting CorporationAnd added that the decision will be a “difficult decision.”
The Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed on Tuesday that the leaders of the Department of Defense have had “preliminary discussions” on the steps following the FDA’s approval.
“If the FDA approves it, then I am sure that the leadership of the Pentagon will consider our future options, including making it mandatory as a potential option,” he said.
According to the Pentagon, more than 930,000 soldiers voluntarily received two doses of the vaccine.
As the more toxic variants of Delta continue to proliferate, the FDA is facing increasing pressure to require its full approval Pfizer Experts said that this move may encourage further vaccination.
Weekly newspaper Contact the White House for comments. This story will be updated with any response.