Wicker, Hyde-Smith Question Pentagon About COVID Vaccine Military Discharges

Miss. Senators, Colleagues Seek Details on Pentagon Handling of Servicemembers who Decline Vaccines

May 2, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss. and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., are asking Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to provide information on the number and nature of military discharges for not receiving a COVID vaccine. 

The Mississippi lawmakers are among 14 Senators who signed a detailed letter to Austin seeking information on the discharges.  Reports show that more than 1,700 servicemembers have been discharged for their COVID vaccination status and many are being denied retirement or other service benefits as a result.

“While we are deeply troubled that the Department of Defense (DOD) is discharging U.S. military personnel as a result of their COVID-19 vaccination status, we are outraged that these brave men and women are potentially being stripped of various benefits, including education benefits afforded to them under the G.I. Bill.  Whatever disagreements public officials of varying ideologies and political parties may have, we can and should agree on the importance of ensuring the promises made to members of our Armed Forces are fulfilled,” the Senators wrote.

U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah led the letter, which was also signed by Senators Roger Marshall, M.D., R-Kan., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, John Hoeven, R-N.D., James Lankford, R-Okla., Rand Paul, R-Ky., James Risch, R-Idaho, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

Click here to read the Senators’ letter.