A US Army officer who has taken all other military-mandated vaccines says he is resigning instead of getting the COVID vaccine

·3 min read
US Army nurse administers COVID-19 vaccine at Fort Meade in Maryland.
US Army nurse administers COVID-19 vaccine at Fort Meade in Maryland. US Army photo
  • An Army officer has decided to resign rather than take the COVID vaccine mandated by the military.

  • Lt. Col. Paul Douglas Hague said on Fox News that he has had all other vaccines, but he won't get the one for COVID.

  • The CDC and other medical experts have argued that the COVID vaccines are safe and effective.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A US Army officer who has received all other vaccines mandated by the Department of Defense has decided to resign after 18 years of service rather than take the COVID shot, though that is not his only complaint.

"I don't want the COVID vaccine, and I don't plan on getting it," Lt. Col. Paul Douglas Hague told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Wednesday. "I've had all the other Army vaccines. I've had eight anthrax shots. I've had the smallpox vaccination. I've had them all."

"So it's really not about whether I'll get the shot," he continued.

"This is about the freedom of the American people," Hague explained. "The right to choose your own medical procedures. The right to decide what's gonna be injected into your body and what's not. That's a natural human right that we can't take away from people. And I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution which affords those rights to the Americans."

US military members do not have the right to reject mandated vaccines and still serve. These requirements are based on the military's experience that diseases can be as big a threat to troops as the enemy. Still, there are certain religious exemptions, among others.

Hague's decision, which comes just two years from retirement and will cost him his pension and other benefits, made waves last week when his wife posted his resignation letter on Twitter.

"I am incapable of subjecting myself to the unlawful, unethical, immoral, and tyrannical order to sit still and allow a serum to be injected into my flesh against my will and better judgement," Hague wrote in his letter, a partial response to the Pentagon's COVID vaccine mandate.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin sent a memo in late August requiring military personnel to get the vaccine after its full FDA approval, emphasizing it was necessary for a "healthy and ready force."

"After careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership, and with the support of the President, I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people," he said.

In his resignation letter, Hague also lamented lockdowns in response to the virus, said he had a "complete lack of confidence" in the Biden administration after failures in Afghanistan, and criticized what he sees as a "Marxist takeover of the military."

While the COVID vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, along with other response measures like masks and lockdowns, have proven to be divisive issues in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as outside medical experts, continue to push for these in order to reduce the virus' spread and severity, which is claiming an average of more than 2,000 lives each day, largely among unvaccinated people.

The CDC has stressed that "COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective," notes that millions of people have received the shot, and encourages everyone ages 12 and up to get the vaccine.

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