Air Force moves forward with vaccine mandate despite court order
'Our senior defense officials seem uninterested in abiding by law'
September 28, 2022|
The United States Air Force is grounding pilots who have refused the COVID-19 injections in violation of a court order, according to Former Space Force Lieutenant Colonel Matt Lohmeier.
Lohmeier told NTD News on Capitol Report that a federal judge in Ohio less than two months ago ruled that it is illegal for the Air National Guard, Space Force or Air Force to take punitive action against its members for refusing the COVID-19 shots, but the Air Force is doing it anyway.
“Our senior defense officials seem uninterested in abiding by law,” Lohmeier said. “We’ve got over 700 pilots potentially on the chopping block right now for their refusal to take the shot.”
The Air Force is grounding “young, relatively healthy” pilots “who should be able to get in the cockpit and start flying.”
Lohmeier, a former F-15 fighter pilot in the Air Force, was fired for warning about strong Marxist influences within the military.
“In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death I saw what I recognized as Marxist revolutionary tactics afoot in the United States, and unfortunately our military wasn’t safe from that impulse either,” Lohmeier said. The Irresistible Revolution author added that his fellow servicemembers on his base in Colorado were subjected to Critical Race Theory, which is “rooted in Marxist ideologies.”
In July, Federal District Judge Matthew issued a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration, outlawing the vaccine mandate imposed on military personnel until the trial is resolved. The judge found that while the Department of Defense was promising religious exemptions, it was not granting them.
“Members face the same injury: violation of their constitutional freedom by defendants’ clear policy of discrimination religious accommodation requests,” wrote the judge.
Last week, the Navy quietly rolled back its vaccine mandate for SEALs, according to Fox News. The Navy has been refusing to deploy 35 SEALs who refused to get the injections on religious grounds since last year, a move sanctioned by the Supreme Court.
As reported in March by Frontline News, the Department of Defense has also been fighting to keep a naval warship docked because its commander is not vaccinated.
In February, Federal District Court Judge Steven Merryday issued a preliminary injunction that precludes the Navy from taking any disciplinary action against the commander of the Navy destroyer or a Marine Corps lieutenant colonel for being vaccine-free, which would constitute a violation of their religious freedom.
The government said that the judge’s injunction was “profoundly concerning” and tried to claim that refusing the vaccine is a national security concern.
But the judge didn’t appear to buy this argument.
Merryday accused the government of trying “to evoke the frightening prospect of a dire national emergency resulting from allegedly reckless and unlawful overreaching by the district judge.”
“We’ve got a large chunk of our servicemembers across all branches of the military who have essentially conscientiously objected to taking that shot, which by now amounts to now hundreds of thousands of service members between active duty, guard, reserves and DoD civilians,” said Lohmeier.