The White House is not responding to the controversy over Biden’s recent praise of a Coast Guard hero who is being fired because he won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.
After Hurricane Ian smashed through Florida last week, U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers risked their lives in the dangerous floodwaters to rescue more than a dozen people.
The President personally thanked one of the Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Zach Loesch. Loesch is reportedly on track to be discharged from the Coast Guard because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. He applied for a religious exception, but he was denied; his appeal of that decision was also denied.
“If I had asked any of the people I saved yesterday if they wanted to come with me even though I am unvaccinated, every single one of them would have said ‘yes,'” Loesch told the media. “It just sucks that he thanked me yet his vaccine mandate is what’s kicking me out.”=
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked whether the president will reconsider his administration’s vaccine mandate for military members after praising Loesch’s heroism.
She said that Biden has the “deepest respect” for the U.S. Coast Guard “heroes,” but then she refused to answer the question.
Jean-Pierre said that the question is beyond her work purview even though it focuses on Biden.
“I would refer you specifically to the U.S. Coast Guard on this issue, on this individual question,” she said. “It’s not something that I would comment from here.”
“But, you know, there, of course, have been multiple vaccination requirements, as you know, in place for quite some time,” she added. “Again, I’m not going to comment from here on an individual case.”
The Biden administration mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all service members last August.
The decision to discharge members of the Coast Guard has become quite controversial, even some admirals have spoken out against it.