Half a dozen Senate Republicans sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Friday probing the agency on its policy towards U.S. service members injured by the Covid jab.
“Thousands of service members were discharged from service as a result of refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Yet, some U.S. service members received the vaccine to maintain their service and have since experienced lasting health impacts as a result,” the senators wrote. “If our government is asking service members to receive a vaccine, we must be cognizant that there will be unintended side effects that may cause lifelong impacts on their health.”
Among the letter’s signatories are Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Steve Daines of Montana.
For context, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced in August 2021 that the Pentagon would be mandating all service members receive the experimental (and risky) shot. While Congress ultimately repealed the mandate in early 2023, more than 8,400 healthy service members left the service due to the requirement. On top of that, the vast majority of service members who sought a medical or religious exemption from the mandate had their accommodations denied.
Only 43 of the more than 8,400 military personnel who left the service due to the mandate have returned to service, according to CNN.
In their Friday letter, the six GOP senators probed VA Secretary Denis McDonough on how the agency compensates and cares for service members “who come to the VA for help with COVID-19 vaccine injuries.” In the years since their distribution to the public, the Covid shots have been documented to have significant risks, namely contributing to heart-related issues such as myocarditis. Such problems have prompted several European nations to restrict the distribution of the Moderna shot for individuals under the age of 30 and U.S. states like Florida and Texas to launch investigations into the shots’ manufacturers for potential wrongdoing.
The VA has “provided several resources to veterans seeking the COVID-19 vaccination, but no clear information about how to support members who are injured as a result of the vaccine,” the senators wrote.
In their letter, the senators requested McDonough provide answers on how the agency processes disability claims for service members for injuries related to the Covid jab and if the VA considers Covid vaccine injuries “as service-related if the service member received the vaccine during service.” The senators further inquired whether the VA has investigated the “health effects of Covid-19 vaccine injuries” and what resources it provides to service members “who are concerned that a Covid-19 vaccination led to their injury.”