The Coast Guard swimmer who risks discharge for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine received praise from President Joe Biden, but the White House is refusing to comment on the matter.
What is the history?
U.S. Coast Guard swimmers navigated the perilous floodwaters after Hurricane Ian came ashore in Florida last week to save over a dozen people.
President Biden personally praised Zach Loesch, Aviation Survival Tech Second Class, one of the rescue swimmers, after the rescues. Despite his heroic service, Loesch is expected to be let go from the Coast Guard since he has not had his COVID-19 vaccination.
Loesch requested a religious exemption, but he was turned down; he also lost his appeal of the ruling.
Loesch stated to reporter Kristina Wong, “If I had asked any of the people that I rescued yesterday about going with me even if I am not vaccinated, all of those people would have answered ‘yes.’ It’s disappointing that he praised me yet is discharging me because of the vaccine mandate.”
What was said by the WH?
After praising Loesch’s bravery on Tuesday, Biden’s press sec. Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned about whether Pres. Joe Biden would reconsider his admin’s vaccination requirement for service personnel.
Jean-Pierre declined to respond to the query after stating that Biden had the “deepest regard” for the “heroes” of the United States Coast Guard.
Although the question centers on Biden, who is currently under her supervision as the president’s chief spokesman, Jean-Pierre suggested that it is outside the scope of her professional duties.
“Regarding this matter, precisely this particular question,” she said, “I would directly send you to the U.S. Coast Guard. I wouldn’t comment on it from here.”
“But as you may be aware, there have been numerous immunization regulations in place for a while,” she continued. “Again, I won’t comment on a specific instance at this time.”
What about the vaccine requirement?
The Biden White House enforced the COVID-19 vaccine for all members of service last Aug.
But despite vaccine requirements being rolled back across the nation, the military has maintained it and is enforcing it on otherwise upstanding members of service.
The decision to terminate members of the Coast Guard has become very controversial, earning criticism from retired admirals and lawmakers alike.