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November 04, 2021

Vaccine Mandate Delayed for Military Contractors; Inhofe Continues Call to Suspend Mandate for Service Members, DOD Civilians

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed news that the administration will delay the vaccine mandate deadline for military contractors:

“By delaying the vaccine mandate deadline for contractors, the Biden administration is finally recognizing what the rest of us already knew – their vaccine mandate hurts national security and must be suspended. The delay came less than 24 hours after their lackluster response to my inquiries which only serves to highlight the disorganization of the administration.

I will continue to fight the mandate, but giving more time for businesses to adapt or challenge it is a major victory. This temporary relief, however, is wholly insufficient because it is not applied to service members and DOD civilians. The need for this suspension only grows each day as the readiness impacts of the mass firings and discharges will have on our military and defense industrial base become clear.”

Additionally, yesterday afternoon, Secretary Austin responded to Sen. Inhofe’s letter about the impact of the vaccine mandate – but the response lacked any data or specifics. Inhofe stated:

“This letter could have been written in 24 hours – there was no need for it to take two weeks and two days to not answer any of my data-driven inquiries and simply punt my questions to the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. I expect detailed, specific answers from the Undersecretary no later than November 10.”

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