- The Washington Times - Friday, March 5, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that military members who refuse to get vaccinated for COVID-19 are “innocently and inadvertently” prolonging the pandemic.

During a virtual discussion with the nonprofit Blue Star Families, Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Biden, responded to the news that about 30% of service members who are eligible to receive the vaccine are opting out.

“By preventing yourself from getting infected, you’re part of the solution to this outbreak,” Dr. Fauci said. “Because by getting infected, even though you may not know it, you may be inadvertently transmitting the infection to someone else, even though you have no symptoms. In reality, like it or not, you’re propagating this outbreak. 

“So instead of being part of the solution, you are innocently and inadvertently being part of the problem by not getting vaccinated,” he added. “So that’s the reason why we say you’ve got to think of your own health, which is really very important, but you got to think about your societal obligation to society, including people close to you personally as well as other members of families of other individuals.”

Pentagon officials told the House Armed Services Committee last month that about one-third of U.S. troops have so far declined to take the coronavirus vaccine, which is currently voluntary CNBC reported. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Feb. 17 there’s still no timeline on when the vaccine may become mandatory.

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