Biden to ‘consider’ lifting vaccine mandate defense secretary wants to keep

President Joe Biden is considering the idea of removing the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for U.S. service members, though he backs Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s continued support for the measure.

The Department of Defense’s mandate remains in effect despite criticism, mainly from conservatives, that the policy unnecessarily forces thousands of otherwise good service members out of the military, harming military readiness. GOP condemnation of the policy has reemerged as Congress debates the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act

“Secretary Austin’s been very clear that he opposes repeal of the vaccine mandate, and the president actually concurs with the Secretary of Defense,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday. “He continues to believe that all Americans, including those in the armed forces,
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