Hoeven Joins Colleagues Calling on Pentagon to Reinstate Soldiers Discharged Due to Biden's COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today joined Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) in urging U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to freeze all COVID-19 vaccine-related discharges, and to establish a quick and thorough process so all members who were discharged because they refused the COVID-19 vaccine can be reinstated with back pay and full benefits. The senators’ letter comes after the Senate approved the National Defense Authorization act (NDAA), which includes a provision Hoeven worked to include ending the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“This year’s NDAA, which provides essential funding and sets defense and national security policy for the United States, also contains a key provision we fought for which eliminates the requirement for service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” the senators wrote. “While we are proud to see this needed change included, simply reversing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate is insufficient to right the wrongs done to our service members. We write today to urge immediate action from the Pentagon to protect our service members and provide much-needed direction and stability for America’s brave heroes and their families.” 

In addition to Hoeven and Scott, the letter was signed by Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Click here for the full text of the letter.