Admiral says un-waxed seals cause ‘immediate damage’ to Navy, admits no combat operations affected

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Specific: A Navy admiral who, during a statement on a case involving Navy SEALs who refused vaccination on religious grounds, said that the COVID-19 shots were a national security matter, yet admitted that he had not received any such cases. Where it may have adversely affected operations.

First Liberty Institute and Hacker Stephens LLP, which represents Navy SEALs seeking religious exemption A brief filed late Monday for a coronavirus vaccine in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit was first obtained by Fox News Digital.

The filing includes a statement for the first time, conducted in late June 2022 with Deputy Chief of Naval Operations William Leisher. During the statement, Lesser said he was “unknown” of any Navy SEAL combat missions that had been negatively affected by COVID-19, despite his earlier claim that a vaccine mandate was necessary for successful naval operations. was.

Lesser, who serves as the Navy’s second-highest-ranking uniformed officer, said in a sworn declaration before the Supreme Court earlier this year that allowing unvaccinated SEALs would “immediately harm the Navy”. and “For the National Security of the United States”. And this can be considered as a “disobedience of duty”.

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Navy personnel facing threats to demand religious COVID-19 vaccine exemption

CORONADO, CA – AUGUST 13: A group of Navy SEAL trainees during Hell Week at a beach in Coronado, California in August 2010.
(Charles Ommani/Getty Images)

Furthermore, according to the new filing by First Liberty, which was filed during the search period: “Admiral Leisher submitted a lengthy declaration confirming facts supporting the Navy’s arguments that religious objections to mandatory COVID- 19 It has a compelling interest in vaccination and that without it, the Navy would be subject to unacceptable risk due to the presence of illiterate sailors.”

First Liberty states that the Navy “relied heavily on Admiral Lesser’s announcement during the adjournment proceedings and relies on it in both briefs in this appeal.”

However, during Lesher’s June statement, he said he was “unknown of any war failure” due to COVID-19, and was also unaware of specific instances of “COVID-19 making a medical evacuation difficult” or a was contracted through time. a rebreathing device, or was contracted on a submarine.”

Members of the Cyprus National Guard and US Navy SEALs' Special Operations Team attend a joint military training on September 10, 2021 in Limassol, Cyprus.  REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Members of the Cyprus National Guard and US Navy SEALs’ Special Operations Team attend a joint military training on September 10, 2021 in Limassol, Cyprus. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

In addition, the admiral reaffirmed Navy policy, which requires “0.6% of service members with a religious objection”. [be vaccinated] “Despite acknowledging the risk of serious COVID cases occurring in 25% of the Navy due to sailors who meet the medical definition of obesity,” due to a perceived increased risk of serious cases.

“Admiral Leisher also acknowledged that Navy policy allows HIV-positive individuals to be deployed at the commander’s discretion and states that despite the risk to others upon deployment, HIV status cannot be the sole basis for deployment decisions. ,” the court documents say.

Finally, Lesser said that despite the 100% vaccination rate, the COVID outbreak on ships continues and the Navy is now facing recruitment and retention issues and has been forced to “lower” its standards.

Navy jawans facing threats and harassment sought religious exemption, say sources

First Liberty Institute general counsel, Lieutenant Colonel US Marine Corps Reserve Michael Berry, told Fox News Digital that Lasher’s statement is “very worrying” because the Supreme Court relied on his declaration of oath.

“They will paint this ‘sky falling’ landscape, saying that if they are not allowed to separate these [unvaccinated] People, the sky is about to fall. But still when you look at the evidence, they cannot defend their position.”

Members of the Cyprus National Guard and US Navy SEALs' Special Operations Team attend a joint military training on September 10, 2021 in Limassol, Cyprus.  REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Members of the Cyprus National Guard and US Navy SEALs’ Special Operations Team attend a joint military training on September 10, 2021 in Limassol, Cyprus. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

First Independence in November filed suit 35 active-duty SEALs and three reservists, as first reported by Fox News Digital. The SEALs represented are all members of various denominations within Christianity and are “objecting vaccine mandates based on their sincerely held religious beliefs.

In March, the Supreme Court blocked a lower court order in Texas that would have forced the Navy to stop implementing a vaccine mandate for Navy SEALs. Now, the case is being tried in the Fifth Circuit, and pending the ongoing court case, the unaffiliated seal has yet to be terminated by the military.

The case focuses on whether the military is violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by enforcing the mandate.

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According to the filing, the Navy hasn’t granted a single religious exemption to the mandate—there are currently 4,244 pending—but has given 19 permanent medical exemptions, 189 temporary medical exemptions and 3 permanent medical exemptions.

A Navy spokesman said the DoD does not comment on the ongoing lawsuit and referred Fox News Digital to the Justice Department, which did not respond to a request for comment.

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