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‘I am for’ a national vaccine mandate: Stanley McChrystal

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Retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to talk about the fight against COVID-19.

Video Transcript

ANDY SERWER: It seems like the biggest impediment is vaccine hesitancy. And it has been maybe for a while. So how would we overcome that given what your research has told you doing the book?

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL: Yeah, I would say the things on that started with communication. Early, we needed to communicate a clear message that wouldn't be complete as you're still learning but a clear message and send it out. This is a nation at war, and these are the things we, this nation at war against COVID, have to do.

We need to get a narrative that says it is our responsibility to be part of that war. Part of that is getting vaccinated, not to protect ourselves, but to protect our flanks, to protect our comrades, to protect the other people who rely upon us. We needed the ability to make decisions quickly. And of course, we needed leadership. We needed senior people to stand up and say, these are tough decisions.

Vaccine hesitancy has some deep-seated, almost emotional reasons because people have opposed to other vaccines. But this is a time when we either come together and make potentially frightening decisions such as being vaccinated, or we fail. And I would argue that we allowed way too much misinformation and disinformation to pollute the conversation.

ANDY SERWER: Does that lend itself to a national vaccine mandate therefore?

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL: Yeah. Personally, if you're asking Stan McChrystal, I am for that. I think that we have certain mandates. We said, you must take your-- you must pay your taxes. You must serve in the military if the nation is threatened. There are things we do as part of the covenant of being a citizen in the United States of America.

There are responsibilities that go with rights. And common defense doesn't mean just common defense against the British election [INAUDIBLE]. It means common defense against those things which harm our nation. And this is not just something that harms individual Americans. It economically weakens us. And so I would argue, yes, it would be entirely appropriate.

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