Oklahoma Governor Stitt has written a letter to the Secretary of Defense, General Lloyd Austin requesting the Department of Defense “immediately consider suspending the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for national guardsmen in Oklahoma.”
Governor Stitt cited the willingness of these men and women to put their lives on the line for their country. Then he noted practical concerns such as regular extreme weather patterns and the importance of having a full, ready force.
Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino, appointed this week by Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) as adjutant of the state’s 10,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen, on Thursday notified those under his command that they are “not required to receive the vaccine and won’t be punished if they decline it,” the report added.
“It’s an extraordinary refusal of Pentagon policy and follows Stitt’s written request to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin seeking suspension of the requirement for Guard personnel in the state,” the report noted.
“We will respond appropriately,” John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, said of Stitt’s letter. “That said, Secretary Austin believes that a vaccinated force is a more ready force. That is why he has ordered mandatory vaccines for the total force, and that includes our National Guard, who contribute significantly to national missions at home and abroad.”
Last Tuesday, 26 Navy SEALs sued to halt the vaccine mandate on religious grounds.
Nine other Navy personnel involved in special operations joined the action, according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court’s Northern Texas District, including five special warfare combatant craft crewmen, three Navy divers and one explosive ordnance disposal technician.
The plaintiffs, listed anonymously to protect their classified and confidential locations, claim they’ve been threatened with court-martial or involuntary separation from the service.
The plaintiffs claimed various reasons for seeking religious exemptions, including objections to the alleged use of “aborted fetal cell lines” in the development, testing, or manufacture of the COVID-19 jabs.
“Multiple plaintiffs,” the complaint alleges, believe “God instructed them” not to receive the vaccine. One said they have a “sincere religious belief” that “trace animal cells … such as from swine” should not be injected into their body.
More than ten Republican states are currently suing the Biden administration over the mandate. Also, a federal appeals court affirmed a prior appeals court decision to temporarily halt the latest Biden vaccine mandate as “staggeringly overboard.”