Unvaccinated US National Guardsmen To Lose Status As Travelers Face COVID Restrictions
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – The strict vaccination policies of U.S. President Joe Biden reached the military Tuesday with the defense secretary effectively telling National Guard members refusing a COVID jab to resign.
Lloyd Austin, the U.S. defense secretary, said National Guard members refusing the vaccine would be barred from federally funded drills and training required for their Guard status.
“Vaccination is essential to the health and readiness of the force,” he wrote in an internal memo.
Under Biden’s controversial policy, all U.S. military members must be vaccinated unless they obtain an official waiver. Critics within the military have warned that troops may suffer side effects that could impact their combat readiness.
The National Guard Bureau says about 70 percent of Guard members were vaccinated with at least one shot on November 22, and 63 percent were double vaccinated.
Yet the push to vaccinate perhaps thousands of service members who didn’t take the jab came despite experts voting Tuesday to allow a COVID poll as an alternative for vaccines.
An expert committee agreed to advise the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to provide Merck’s Covid pill for high-risk adults. The drug, molnupiravir, is the first of a new class of antiviral drugs that could tackle the new COVID variant Omicron and other strains.
Molnupiravir was due to be approved for older and more vulnerable people at greater risk of severe illness. The treatment is given within five days of the start of symptoms and is taken as 40 pills over five days.
Molnupiravir works differently from existing vaccines and may even be more effective than vaccines in fighting Omicron, experts said.
As vaccines may not be the panacea against the pandemic, the Biden administration reportedly wants anyone, including Americans, entering the country to be tested for COVID.
Travelers will have to be tested one day before boarding flights, regardless of their vaccination status or country of departure, officials said.
The Biden administration also wants travelers to be retested within three to five days of arrival, Worthy News monitored.
And, authorities demand that everyone entering the U.S. self-quarantine for seven days, even if their test results are negative, according to sources familiar with the thinking.
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