Here are some updates on COVID-19:

  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has told seven governors that DOD still expects Guard members and reservists to get the COVID-19 vaccine because the virus “takes our service members out of the fight, temporarily or permanently, and jeopardizes our ability to meet mission requirements.” The message comes in letters obtained by AP on Monday. They were sent to the Republican governors of Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming, all of whom have pushed back against the mandate for Guardsmen. Texas and Alaska are suing to stop the requirement.
  • Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced in a statement He will work remotely and acting Under Secretary Meredith Berger will take his place at in-person meetings, the Navy said. “I am grateful to be fully vaccinated and to have received the booster shot in October as I know my symptoms could be far worse,” Del Toro said.
  • The Defense Health Agency said military treatment centers may start administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to teens aged 12 to 17 years old who are military dependents, as Tribune News Service
  • Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) is the latest governor to call up the National Guard to help with the latest COVID-19 outbreak, sending Guard members to hospitals and prisons, AP “The strain on healthcare, schools, business and government from the spread of COVID-19 is a reminder that we are not out of the pandemic, and we need to be vigilant about keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy,” Little said.
  • com explored the “secretive networks” of service members who refuse to get the vaccine.

Idaho Army National Guard photo by Crystal Farris

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