VA issues COVID vaccine mandate, becomes first government agency to do so

The push by many Democrats to issue COVID-19 vaccine mandates just took a massive jump forward on Monday.

According to the Washington Examiner, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough announced that the VA hospital system is the first federal agency to issue a mandate stating that some of its employees are required to take the COVID-19 vaccination. 

The agency, which according to its website, employs over 367,000 full-time workers, gave its “Title 38” personnel just eight weeks to comply with the directive, or else presumably face termination or other consequences.

Title 38 VA employees include doctors, dentists, nurses, optometrists, physician’s assistants, and others who are paid differently than other government employees.

Keeping “veterans safe”

McDonough made clear that the mandate was made in the name of safety, specifically mentioning the safety of the millions of U.S. military veterans who seek treatment at VA facilities each year.

“We’re mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it’s the best way to keep veterans safe, especially as the delta variant spreads across the country,” the VA secretary said.

He added: “Whenever a Veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19. With this mandate, we can once again make — and keep — that fundamental promise.”

The news comes in the wake of an alleged COVID-19 outbreak at the VA Law Enforcement Training Center, where a number of reportedly unvaccinated staff were infected with the virus.

“At least three of those employees died because of the increasingly prevalent Delta variant. There has also been an outbreak among unvaccinated employees and trainees at a VA Law Enforcement Training Center, the third such outbreak during the pandemic,” the VA’s statement read, according to the New York Post.

Biden fires back at reporter

The president was questioned by an NBC reporter on the VA’s announcement, while he met with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Apparently, Biden wasn’t fond of the reasonable inquiry.

“You are such a pain in the neck. But I’m going to answer your question because we’ve known each other for so long. It has nothing to do with Iraq,” Biden fired back. “I’ll answer your question: Yes, Veteran Affairs is going to in fact require that all docs working in facilities are going to have to be vaccinated.”

Unfortunately, it’s likely only a matter of time before additional government agencies begin mandating the COVID-19 vaccination, and as a result, it’s not a stretch to presume that millions of Americans who are already upset about the situation will grow increasingly frustrated.

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