According to the U.S. Defense Secretary, all military members must get the COVID-19 vaccine by mid-September.

It seems like it wasn't that long ago when the thought of mandating vaccines for Americans was preposterous. After all, things were calm a short time ago on the COVID-front, and life for most of us got back to normal. Then, along came the fourth wave.

Here in Louisiana, we're seeing COVID-19 numbers through the roof, and we're a little over a week into a new mandate of our own. The mask mandate will be in effect in Louisiana for the foreseeable future, and I think that's understandable. Without question, there are some out there who are not pleased with the mask mandate, but in the grand scheme of things that can be mandated, masks aren't the worst thing.

While the thought of mandating vaccines has always seemed completely unrealistic to me, we actually may be getting close to that becoming a reality.

This week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sent a memo to Department of Defense employees. The memo stated that all military members must be fully vaccinated by September 15th. This will apply to all of the military members stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base.

In his memo, Austin says, "I will not hesitate to act sooner or recommend a different course to the President if l feel the need to do so. To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force."

In response to Austin's memo, President Joe Biden released a statement of his own:

I strongly support Secretary Austin’s message to the Force today on the Department of Defense’s plan to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for our service members not later than mid-September. Secretary Austin and I share an unshakable commitment to making sure our troops have every tool they need to do their jobs as safely as possible."


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