- The Washington Times - Friday, April 30, 2021

President Biden said he’s weighing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. troops, though he would likely leave final decisions up to military brass.

“I don’t know — I’m going to leave that to the military,” he said in an interview that aired Friday on NBC’s “Today” program. “I’m not saying I won’t. I think you’re going to see more and more of them getting it.”

He had been asked if he would order service members to get vaccinated once the federal government gives a final sign-off that goes beyond the emergency use authorization granted for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

“And I think it’s going to be a tough call as to whether or not they should be required to have to get it in the military because you’re [in] such close proximity with other military personnel,” Mr. Biden said.

Multiple media outlets reported earlier this month that about 40% of the 123,000 Marines who were offered the coronavirus vaccine at the time had turned it down.

A handful of House Democrats asked Mr. Biden last month to issue a waiver allowing the Pentagon to mandate vaccinations for the troops.

Approximately 55% of the U.S. adult population has received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 38% of the U.S. adult population is fully vaccinated.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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