Despite the Department of Defense’s reverse of the mandate, the U.S. Military Academy has imposed restrictions on cadets who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 according to Army guidance.
West Point had a policy that prevented cadets traveling to sports and other events during the pandemic. However, it was lifted last semester before being reimplemented, Just the News reported.
R. Davis Younts, a military attorney, stated to the outlet that the rule’s reintroduction “feels like coercion” in order to forbid vaccinations on the cadets. “Is there a sudden spike in COVID death in West Point, New York?” Or could it be because there isn’t “anything left to coerce [cadets] into complying?”
Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, ordered that all U.S. military personnel receive the first vaccine by August 2021. However, the policy was repealed in January when Congress included it in the National Defense Authorization Act. Around 8,400 service personnel were separated by the department for refusing to receive the vaccine or getting an exemption request approved during the policy’s existence.
Despite Republican support, the Pentagon does not plan to reinstate service members who have been separated or pay them back their wages.