Losing the SEALs?

So is Joe Biden ready to lose the U.S. Navy SEALs?

Sure looks like it, based on this JustTheNews report:

Several hundred elite Navy SEALs are in danger of being blocked from deploying with their special operator teams by the Pentagon after failing to get a mandatory COVID vaccine, according to a lawyer and pastor counseling them.

The number involved in the dispute with the Pentagon amounts to as many as a quarter or more of all active duty SEALs, a loss that could impact military readiness since SEAL teams play an outsized role in modern military operations, their advocates told Just the News. 

If so, that's bad news for military readiness.  We all know what happens to military readiness when the Navy loses a ship — imagine the impact of losing a huge chunk of the elite fighting force.  And in the wake of Biden's failed Afghanistan pullout, with terrorists the world over regrouping, there could be consequences for the U.S.

JustTheNews notes that it costs $500,000 to train a SEAL.  There's also the reality that only one out of four SEAL applicants actually makes it through training to get the title of SEAL; the rest wash out.  They're not called an elite fighting force for nothing.  What's more, they are very popular with the public, having taken down Osama bin Laden and other terrorist monsters to protect our country.  Biden wants to get rid of that?

Now, to be fair, there are sound reasons for asking troops to get vaxxed.  One unvaxxed troop spreading disease to the others on the tightly packed Navy ship or submarine is no laughing matter, particularly since the vaccine itself isn't preventing breakthrough infections. 

But there are valid reasons for objecting, too.

Taking the vaccine, for one, might actually be making troops more vulnerable, if the example of hyper-vaxxed Israel is taken into account.

Some troops may object to taking the vaccine based on that, and others may object based on the record these vaccines have of triggering heart problems in young people, particularly healthy young men such as themselves.  Compared to the low lethality of having COVID among the healthy young, taking a vaccine with those life-altering potential results seems stupid.

Others may have a history of bad reactions to vaccines, which is a valid medical reason, too.

The religious objection described by JustTheNews seems to be a bit of a stretch, given that most of the Catholic bishops have already given the go-ahead to get the vaccine, asking their faithful to avoid only the highly fetal stem cell–derived Johnson & Johnson vaccine, if feasible, and if not, just take it.  There are other vaccines, though, and the FDA has officially approved the Pfizer, with more distantly derived fetal stem cell lines, so it seems reasonable that religious objections at least among a large group of people are improbable.  Other faiths may say something different or hold religious exemptions based on other grounds, so there's that, but, again, numbers are small.  Still, it's odd that religious exemptions to troops dedicated to giving their lives for America and its freedoms, including religious freedoms, can't be somehow accommodated inside the ranks.

The big and very valid reason is natural immunity.  People who have had COVID are far more likely to be completely protected and less likely to spread COVID than people who have had the vaccine.  That's science, and Biden's ignoring it.  Why can't a SEAL who can demonstrate anti-COVID antibodies through a test be able to use that?  The vax mandate for these SEALS makes zero sense.

But the potential for mass refusals and firings is perfectly real, and many SEALS, for good reasons and bad, are refusing it.  Is Biden really up for losing a big chunk of America's top fighting force in this day and again with the Taliban rampant?  All to get his "numbers"?  It's garbage.  For the longest time, the White House, the CDC, the FDA, and the big pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Moderna, not to mention many hospitals, have refused to require their employees to take the vaccine, and a very large number of them didn't.  They've put out mandates now, but each one has a few carve-outs in order not to lose valuable talent or, in the case of the White House, trusted employees.  The fact-check on that can be read here.

But the SEALs?  Just cookie-cutter requirements without reasonable exemptions?  Against a very strong pushback among large numbers of them who are willing to leave the service instead of being forced to take the vaccine?

It has to be a bid to get rid of the military and leave America defenseless.  It's one more reason why our commander-in-chief is unfit and in need of a reality check.

Drew Belsky adds: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the highest authority yet in the Catholic Church to officially weigh in on the matter of COVID shots, declared that "vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary."  The document, along with the Vatican, is extremely pro–COVID shot generally, but the language quoted here shows that Catholics, at least, are justified in seeking a religious exemption.

Monica Showalter adds: If they do seek that religious exemption, which in any case, many bishops and priests won't give them, they have some tough conditionalities, according to that body: "Those who, however, for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, must do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent. In particular, they must avoid any risk to the health of those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons, and who are the most vulnerable."

... which would pretty well mean it would be hard to do one's duties as a SEAL. It also would justify Biden's decision to kick them out of the SEALs since they would not be able to isolate in combat situations or on ships, and may not always be able to wear masks. It's not an easy exemption for the SEALS or anyone to seek, based on the heavy responsibilities this Vatican body has attached. So, I remain a little skeptical.

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.