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Naval Academy Being Blasted on Capitol Hill For Withholding Diplomas from Unvaccinated Midshipmen

Representative Greg Steube (R., Fla.) blasted the U.S. Naval Academy this week after one of his constituents claimed she has been told she needs a Covid-19 vaccine to graduate. But a statement from the Academy denies that. They issued a statement to a media outlet saying, "There have been no midshipmen separated from the United States Naval Academy, nor denied a commission, for declining the COVID-19 vaccine......There are a handful of midshipmen who have filed religious exemption requests to the COVID-19 vaccine."

GOP lawmakers sent a letter to superintendent Naval Vice Admiral Sean Buck on Tuesday demanding answers about the student’s claim. Lawmakers argued in the letter that withholding diplomas from qualified midshipmen will hurt military readiness. 

The U.S. Naval Institute Press reported on March 22, 2022, the Navy stopped separating sailors for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine on religious grounds after a federal judge granted class-action certification in the case of Navy SEALs suing Department of Defense officials over the vaccine mandate. Lawmakers want to get more details about how many midshipmen requested religious exemptions from getting the vaccine.

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