Lankford Vows to Block DOD Nominees Till Biden Admin Explains Why It Denied Army Non secular Lodging

Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford has promised to dam Division of Protection nominees till President Joe Biden’s administration explains the tens of hundreds of non secular lodging requests it by no means granted and even answered.

“This isn’t over,” Lankford informed The Every day Sign on Monday night throughout a press name.

The senator emphasised that the Division of Protection has had an outlined course of for making choices on spiritual lodging, and that it has made such choices for the previous two centuries. But hundreds of service members haven’t been informed whether or not their spiritual exemptions to the COVID-19 mandate might be granted—and plenty of have been denied.

“This one simply appears to be hanging on the market,” he added, calling the Protection Division’s failure to take care of the matter “absurd.”

Statistics from the U.S. Military, for instance, present that 4,440 lively Military members requested everlasting spiritual exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine (this determine doesn’t embrace Military Nationwide Guard or Military Reserve). The Military solely accepted 119 of them, and rejected 1,797. The Military didn’t instantly tackle to The Every day Sign what was happening with the opposite 2,524 requests.

The Air Drive has solely granted 200 approvals out of 11,000 spiritual lodging requests, spokeswoman Ann Stefanek informed The Every day Sign on Tuesday.

As soon as he has obtained solutions from the Biden administration on why the DOD both by no means answered or granted the tens of hundreds of non secular lodging requests to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Lankford intends to “end the method,” the senator stated. He plans to ask about reparations for households who’ve incurred egregious medical or authorized payments because of the mandate.

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“I’ve demanded solutions on why the Biden admin has granted virtually not one of the hundreds of non secular exemption requests for navy vaccine mandates,” he stated earlier this month. “With no satisfactory response, I introduced a maintain on DOD nominees. Partial concessions within the NDAA gained’t be sufficient – we want the reality.”

Lankford, who’s a member of the Senate Homeland Safety and Governmental Affairs Committee, has repeatedly raised considerations concerning the therapy of service members who selected to not get vaccinated. In August, he despatched a letter to Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin expressing considerations about “deplorable residing circumstances for service members who’ve spiritual objections to the COVID vaccine.”

“At finest, these reviews show your lack of take care of the service members you lead,” he warned. “At worst, it demonstrates an lively distain for and hostility towards them.”

“Sailors recount being transferred to residing quarters coated in mould, sewage, and with no entry to wash or working water,” the senator defined. “One sailor testified to organisms residing within the stagnant water that surrounds her rest room. Photograph proof revealed unlivable circumstances that no individual must be subjected to, not to mention our women and men in uniform. These circumstances render that of an authoritarian and abusive authorities, which falls far beneath the usual of the navy of the best nation on earth.”  

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In September, an inside memo obtained by prompt that the navy could have been quickly and carelessly denying spiritual exemptions, glancing over the exemption requests for just a few minutes.

“We discovered a development of generalized assessments reasonably than the individualized evaluation that’s required by Federal regulation and DoD and Army Service insurance policies,” Pentagon appearing Inspector Basic Sean O’Donnell stated in a June memo to Austin, the publication reported. “Among the appellate choices included documentation that demonstrated a better consideration of details and circumstances concerned in a request.”

“The quantity and charge at which choices had been made to disclaim requests is regarding,” the memo added. “Assuming a 10-hour work day with no breaks or consideration to different issues, the typical overview interval was about 12 minutes for every bundle. Such a overview interval appears inadequate to course of every request in an individualized method and nonetheless carry out the duties required of their place.”

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