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One third of American troops refuse Covid jab

Politico

Approximately one-third of American troops have declined to take the coronavirus vaccine so far, Pentagon officials told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Jeff Taliaferro, the vice director of operations for the Joint Staff, said the military has a two-thirds acceptance rate for the vaccine, meaning as much as a third isn’t taking it. The vaccine is not yet mandatory for service members.

“Our initial look — and this is of course very early data — is acceptance rates are somewhere in the two-thirds territory,” Taliaferro told the panel’s top Republican, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama. “And of course it varies by different groups.”

At least one third of the US military has so far refused to take a Covid shot citing a lack of testing. At least in Australia the Constitution forbids compulsory medical conscription leaving the compromised Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a hole unable to enforce the dictates of the Deep State. Because essantially, the vaccine doesn’t work there is no impact on troop readiness.

“Our initial look — and this is of course very early data — is acceptance rates are somewhere in the two-thirds territory,” Taliaferro told the panel’s top Republican, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama. “And of course it varies by different groups.”

Top leaders were testifying on the Pentagon’s role in the federal pandemic response.

Maj. Gen. Steven Nordhaus, the director of operations for the National Guard Bureau, added later that the Guard has a similar acceptance rate of “two-thirds to 70 percent.”

The Pentagon has not previously specified how many troops are declining the vaccine. Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters later on Wednesday that the department doesn’t have a system in place to track that information and pushed back on the notion that officials are hiding information.

Officials at the House hearing were referring to broad data showing that the military’s acceptance rates “mirror” those of American society as a whole, Kirby said, noting that they went on to say that the department is not specifically tracking that data right now.

“Nobody is hiding data,” Kirby said. “We don’t have a system in place across the services to specifically track data with respect to those individuals who for whatever reason are declining.”

Early in the hearing, lawmakers from both parties voiced concerns about the pace of vaccinations, the number of troops who may be declining the vaccine and the impact of refusals on military readiness.