In opposition to the continued military vaccine mandate, a group of military whistleblowers delivered a 41-page memorandum to members of Congress on Aug. 16.
Captain Joshua “Hippity” Hoppe, a Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey pilot, wrote to various Congressmen, explaining that he and other signatories of the memo had attempted to bring their concerns about the military vaccine mandate to their commanders, but their efforts had “fallen on deaf ears.” In June, a 12-page report titled the Congressional Survey of Accountability, Truth, and Freedom (ATAF) began a public attempt to call attention to the difficulties of service members who refuse the vaccine mandate typically for religious reasons.
According to the whistleblower memo, Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) vaccines, as opposed to vaccines that received full Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, have been unlawfully administered by the Department of Defense (DoD) since August 2021.
The argument rests on the claim that the Pentagon’s Aug. 24, 2021, vaccine mandate applied to “COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance.” And therefore EUA vaccines cannot be forced upon service members.
“Americans never lose the right to legally refuse an EUA product,” the memo stated.
The document further argued that “the DoD cannot claim ignorance with regard to the legal differences between an EUA product and a licensed product.”
The memo’s signatories also alleged that the new Comirnaty-labeled vials, which ostensibly have full FDA-approval, carry lot numbers associated with EUA vaccines, noting that “misrepresenting an EUA manufactured lot of vaccine product as a fully licensed product is a violation of labeling.”
Hoppe and his colleagues are now calling upon recipients of the current memo to publish the report on their Congressional websites, call for Austin to cease enforcing the vaccine mandate, begin a Congressional investigation into this issue and potential fraudulent actions, and hold any responsible parties to account. He hopes constituents in their home states will also encourage members of Congress to act.
The Epoch Times spoke to Navy Lt. Commander Patrick Wier, a second signatory on the memo. The 12-year veteran of the Navy currently serves a Reserve Judge Advocate General (JAG). His concern about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on members of the nation’s military existed prior to Defense Secretary Llyod Austin’s announcement of a vaccine mandate. In March 2021, he said, he submitted a paper to his command explaining why he would oppose “the eventual vaccine mandate.”
Around the same time, he also sent a copy to several congressmen and senators in hopes of “getting them on board.” This initial effort garnered a “mixed response,” he said. Some remained advocates for the vaccine and others offered support for his decision to reject the vaccine.
Four months later, Wier’s instinct became reality. Austin directed the DoD to mandate the vaccine for service members. And despite there not being an FDA-approved vaccine available at the time, and while there is still not one today, Wier said, he chose to “remain committed to military service” while requesting religious accommodation.
Although the Pentagon has issued a policy (pdf) saying the FDA-approved Comirnaty and EUA Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are interchangeable, the legality of this policy continues to be contested by service members, like Wier.
With an appeal pending, his religious accommodation request was denied on Feb. 26.
In the interim, Wier said he was given a report of misconduct for failing to get the vaccine during the time period between receiving his denial letter and submitting his appeal. While he seeks to have the report of misconduct removed from his record, a misconduct investigation is still pending.
These incidents compelled Wier to gladly participate in the memorandum to Congress. He hopes the memo will “bring awareness to Congress.” He considers the governing body “to be the stewards of, and oversight for, the military which is being discriminatorily treated in an unlawful manner.”