Yesterday, Frontline News reported that the Department of Defense filed a motion with the United States Supreme Court to block 35 Navy SEALs from deployment because they are unvaccinated.
Now, it has been reported that a Navy warship is docked and unable to deploy because its commander has not submitted to receive the COVID-19 shot.
Biden imposed a vaccine mandate on all federal workers, including military service members, in August of last year. The mandate is being challenged in courts by service members who resisted the shot due to religious convictions.
Last month, Federal District Court Judge Steven Merryday issued a preliminary injunction that precludes the Navy from taking any disciplinary action against the commander of the Navy destroyer or a Marine Corps lieutenant colonel for being vaccine-free, which would constitute a violation of their religious freedom.
But the Biden administration filed a complaint alleging that the Navy commander has lost the trust of his superiors. Captain Frank Brandon, the commodore of Destroyer Squadron 26, says that he can no longer trust the commander of the ship because he once came to work without being tested for COVID, and was later determined to be positive.
“By forcing the Navy to keep in place a commander of a destroyer who has lost the trust of his superior officers and the Navy at large, this Order effectively places a multi-billion-dollar guided missile destroyer out of commission,” wrote the defense attorneys.
Then, the government said that the judge’s injunction was “profoundly concerning” and tried to claim that refusing the vaccine is a national security concern.
“The prospect of a subordinate commander in charge of other Service members or military assets disregarding the orders of his or her superior for personal reasons, whatever they may be, is itself a manifest national security concern,” wrote Vice Admiral Daniel Dwyer, the head of U.S. 2nd Fleet, in a statement attached to the complaint.
But the judge didn’t appear to buy this argument.
Merryday accused the government of trying “to evoke the frightening prospect of a dire national emergency resulting from allegedly reckless and unlawful overreaching by the district judge.”
A detailed letter written by U.S. Navy Commander Jay Furman last year warned that a vaccine mandate for military members is a national security threat.
“Given the many unknowns and what we have come to learn most recently, mandatory COVID-19 vaccination may not only be rash, but perhaps become life-threatening to the nation vis-à-vis those dedicated to her defense, against very well-known strategic competitors,” Furman wrote.
The Navy destroyer remains docked in Norfolk, Virginia as geopolitical tensions rise and the war between Russian and Ukraine roils on Europe’s doorstep.
Last week, Russian forces seized control of a Ukrainian nuclear weapons facility last week during its invasion. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already placed his nuclear forces on high alert.