Sen. Marshall Op-ed: Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate treats our heroes like felons. I’m fighting to stop it
(Washington, D.C., November 18, 2021) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. penned an op-ed for FOX News about his legislation, the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act, to halt President Joe Biden from dishonorably discharging servicemembers for choosing to not get the COVID vaccine. Senator Marshall introduced this as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act and is pushing for a vote on the Senate Floor. In the op-ed Senator Marshall said in part,
“No otherwise honorable member of the United States military should worry about losing their freedom while protecting ours… Unfortunately, thousands of our servicemen and women are about to lose those very freedoms that they have fought so hard to defend as President Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate is threatening them with a dishonorable discharge should they chose to not get the shot… The bottom line is, American heroes should not be treated as felons because of their personal medical choices. President Biden’s vaccine mandate is a slap in the face to so many American heroes who put their lives on the line each day to defend our freedoms and our American way of life…”
Biden’s mandate is a slap in the face to so many American heroes who defend our freedoms
By: U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D.
November 18, 2021
No otherwise honorable member of the United States military should worry about losing their freedom while protecting ours.
When an American service member breaks the law or military code of conduct in such an egregious way, they get slapped with a dishonorable discharge. They lose access to medical benefits from the VA, they lose access to home loans from the VA, they lose access to the GI bill for further education, they lose their Second Amendment rights and access to ammunition, they lose military funeral honors, they lose the ability to re-enlist in another branch of the military, and they have an extremely difficult time finding employment.
In the civilian world, a dishonorable discharge is equivalent to being convicted of a felony. In fact, it may be the worst checkmark you can get in your life. Unfortunately, thousands of our servicemen and women are about to lose those very freedoms that they have fought so hard to defend as President Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate is threatening them with a dishonorable discharge should they chose to not get the shot.
Let me be clear, as a physician and veteran who is confident the vaccine has saved countless lives, I believe vaccinating our servicemembers against COVID-19 is an important effort. However, deep down inside I’m still a rural doctor from Great Bend, Kansas and I believe in the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship, and that every one of our situations is unique.
A soldier’s clinical history is unique. There are pros and cons and there are risks and benefits of this vaccine. No doubt, each of our soldiers are using common sense, and we must respect their decisions – that includes President Biden.
Right now, thousands of our servicemembers are not vaccinated. In fact, in Kansas, only 58 percent of our guardsmen and women are fully or partially vaccinated. Unfortunately, the policy out of the White House says that one size has to fit all and there are no exceptions to its mandate. It refuse to consider natural immunity even though we know natural immunity to COVID is the same as, if not more powerful than the vaccine.
The bottom line is, American heroes should not be treated as felons because of their personal medical choices. President Biden’s vaccine mandate is a slap in the face to so many American heroes who put their lives on the line each day to defend our freedoms and our American way of life.
To protect those that are serving our country, I introduced the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act, to prohibit the Department of Defense from dishonorably discharging American heroes who choose to not receive a COVID vaccine.
I also am fighting for this as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The vaccine mandate is one of a number of highly important issues for our national security that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has put on hold while the Democrats go back and forth on how to spend taxpayers’ money on their radical agenda instead of finalizing the National Defense Authorization Act.
The annual defense bill is the only authorizing legislation that the Congress passes every year – 60 years in a row. Considering the foreign policy disasters this White House has created one would think delivering a paycheck to our servicemembers and providing funding to increase our military’s lethality would be top of mind.
I urge Leader Schumer to allow a robust NDAA amendment process that includes a vote on my amendment – our American heroes deserve better than being treated as felons for choosing not to receive the COVID vaccine, and we need to get to my amendment as soon as possible.
Republican Roger Marshall, M.D., represents Kansas in the U.S. Senate. Previously he was the congressman for Kansas’ 1st District. Prior to Congress, Dr. Marshall was a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist in Great Bend, Kansas. He received his M.D. at the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine in 1987.
You may click HERE or on the image below to watch a highlight video of Senator Marshall’s fight against these dishonorable discharges:
The COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act was introduced by Senator Marshall on the heels of President Biden mandating millions of Americans to get vaccinated and the DOD issuing guidance stating that soldiers who refuse the vaccine will face “administrative or non-judicial punishment [under UCMJ] – to include relief of duties or discharge.”
Since introduction of the bill, the White House announced opposition to the Senators’ legislation and in turn doubled down in their support to give service members a dishonorable discharge for refusing the COVID vaccine. As such, Senator Marshall has offered his legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
Dishonorably discharged U.S. service members surrender the following rights and benefits:
- Ownership of any sort of firearm or ammunition
- Access to the GI Bill for further education
- VA home loans
- VA medical benefits
- Military Funeral Honors
- Re-enlistment in another military branch
You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s recent press conference on his legislation.
Senator Marshall has been leading the fight in the U.S. Senate to halt President Biden’s vaccine mandate and to get the Administration to recognize the importance of natural immunity.
- Senator Marshall led a letter with several Republican Senators pledging to oppose ALL efforts to implement and enforce Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate particularly on upcoming spending measures considered by the U.S. Senate. More than a dozen Senators have joined Senator Marshall in this effort. You may click HERE for full text of the Senators’ letter to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
- Following numerous roundtable discussions in Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita with union workers who are literally faced with the decision of job or jab, Senator Marshall requested leaders of the Senate HELP, Agriculture, Small Business, and Energy Committees to hold hearings with Kansas union workers to discuss the vaccine mandates. These workers are at risk of losing their jobs over the mandate and in turn further exacerbating the labor shortage and supply chain crisis, and further stifling economic recovery. You may click HERE or on the image below for a recap video of Senator Marshall’s visits with union workers.
- In September, Senator Marshall spoke on the Senate floor about an amendment he offered to the government spending package to prohibit funding for implementing or enforcing the Biden Administration’s COVID vaccine mandate on private companies. All 50 Senate Republicans supported Senator Marshall’s amendment. You may click HERE to watch Senator Marshall’s remarks.
- In opposition to Biden’s vaccine mandate on businesses, Senator Marshall joined his colleagues in demanding a Congressional Review of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employees before it goes into effect and oppose this unlawful, unnecessary federal command.
- Senator Marshall joined his colleagues to introduce the Prevent Unconstitutional Vaccine Mandates for Interstate Commerce Act. As the Biden Administration is working to enforce vaccine mandates for businesses merely seeking to engage in interstate commerce, the legislation would protect the privacy of Americans’ personal health information and prohibit the Department of Transportation and other federal agencies from requiring proof of vaccination or the use of a vaccine passport for such activities.
- Senator Marshall helped introduce the Keeping Our COVID-19 Heroes Employed Act to save essential workers from being fired due to President Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandate.
- Senator Marshall questioned U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training nominee Jose Javier Rodriguez recently on how he plans to handle the upcoming spike in unemployment rates caused by President Biden’s vaccine mandate. You may click HERE to watch the exchange.
- Senator Marshall questioned U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on their intent to mandate vaccines for students in public schools despite the possibility of the CDC acknowledging natural immunity. You may click HERE to watch the exchange.
- Senator Marshall penned an op-ed for The Hill, highlighting the importance of T-cell testing and natural immunity research in helping parents make informed decisions on COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Senator Marshall led a letter with 14 other health care providers in Congress to the CDC urging the agency to acknowledge natural immunity from COVID-19. The letter also urges the CDC to work with other federal agencies to ensure all future policies and federally-funded research take into account natural immunity.