U.S. representatives and senators are witnessing the plight of nearly 600 service members, going on the record about their fight against discriminatory treatment by Joe Biden's Department of Defense (DoD) for refusing to get the jab. The Congressional Survey of Accountability, Truth, and Freedom is part of a grassroots effort by participating members of the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Space Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard. The survey was conducted within a week's time and only represents a fraction of the approximately 120,000 military service members who are facing discriminatory treatment by the DoD.
Capt. Joshua "Hippity" Hoppe, a Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey pilot, is proud to stand alongside his brothers and sisters in arms to raise awareness about the DoD's assault on religious freedom, as that department of the Executive Branch continues to enforce its vaccine mandate.
Emphasizing that his views do not reflect the views of the DoD, the Department of the Navy, or the U.S. Marine Corps, Hoppe tells American Family News that he requested religious accommodation in September 2021, which was denied the following month. A subsequent appeal was made in November 2021; it was also denied the following March.
In addition to Hoppe's religious objection, the Marine Corps officer also "thoroughly documented" that there were – and are – no FDA-approved vaccines available, which is what the Secretary of Defense's memorandum requires. Nonetheless, he was "counseled for misconduct for refusing to take the vaccine," whose administration he deems unlawful.
Hoppe points out that "detractors" often point to the fact that Pfizer was given full FDA-approval on Aug. 23, 2021. However, he explained that "the crux of the issue is that it was actually a bait-and-switch." Although an approval letter was released, Emergency Use Authorization was also immediately reissued, as noted in his response to receive the COVID-19 vaccine inoculation.
While there is a Comirnaty-labeled product now available, the Marine Corps pilot says "it does not negate everything we've gone through up until this point. It's too late." As he explains, individuals have already been separated and other adverse actions have been taken for an initial product that was not FDA-approved, he explained.
"No one is saying that it's FDA-approved; they're just saying that it Comirnaty-labeled," he adds.
Hoppe has attempted to verify the origins and manufacturing date of the Comirnaty-labeled product with Pfizer, the FDA, multiple military clinics, and the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to verify if it is, in fact, the FDA-approved Comirnaty product. All agencies have either been unable to answer basic questions, refused to answer them, or told him to submit a FOIA request even though he was given another short timeline to accept or "refuse" this product. (A copy of the redacted emails between the DHA and Hoppe can be found here.)
The response to his Command's "offer" to accept or "refuse" the Comirnaty product can be found here.
"For the DoD to come out with memos and say this is a similar formulation, so it can be used interchangeably to fulfill the mandate, is not true," Hoppe states. "While there are challenges in court, the DoD is continuing full steam ahead with separating individuals and taking other adverse actions, like the grounding of pilots, for example."
After an exhaustive search for anything that was "FDA-approved" or "BLA-compliant" (i.e., Biologics License Application), Hoppe explains, he and many others have "confirmed that there have not been any fully licensed and approved doses of a COVID-19 vaccine available for the past 10 months of the DoD's mandate."
"Although a federal district judge affirmed that only BLA-approved drugs can be mandated for military personnel, the DoD has continued to separate over 5,000 service members in direct violation of the laws in place," notes Hoppe.
Page 14 of the judge's order makes clear the distinction between a BLA-approved and EUA product. The DoD/DOJ themselves claim in Federal Court to only require products that have "received full licensure by the FDA" for the military mandate, a claim that cannot be true because the first time the "Comirnaty-labeled" product in question became available was in June 2022 – ten months after the start of the mandate. Of note, this claim was filed in court the same day Hoppe submitted his thorough documentation of the lack of any FDA-approved "vaccines" for the prevention of COVID-19 on March 18, 2022.
Despite raising these issues with his Command, they have been ignored. "Blindly following orders that are in direct violation of the law is not an excuse that was held up in the Nuremberg trials and surely will not in the present day either," he concludes.
While Hoppe is saddened that thousands of other service members are finding themselves in the same predicament, he also prays for a rational solution by the Department of Defense – and hopes Congress will intervene.
To that end, Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) tells AFN, "Our service members made a commitment to fight, and lay down their lives, in service to our country," adding that "it is unconscionable that the Biden administration is denying them the chance to serve their nation honorably because Joe Biden wants to play politics."
According to his Republican colleague, Clay Higgins (R-LA), "No American should be forced to receive a COVID vaccine against their will." He argues that "the Department of Defense's vaccine mandate is an oppression of freedom, and it's unjustly forcing good soldiers out of their chosen careers – [and] this is wrong."
Congressman Higgins says Congress has been fighting against the vaccine mandates since their inception, and "when Republicans retake majority control of Congress, [it is the intention of many] to introduce legislation that will reinstate these soldiers with full pay, rank, and benefits."
The GOP lawmaker recognizes the right of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice to "require established, effective vaccination based on well-established human trials over the course of many years."
As an Army veteran, Higgins received many vaccinations as a requirement for service. "But [the nation's] military men and women should not be forced to receive these COVID vaccinations that didn't exist two years ago and are medically controversial across the world," he argues.