SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the Department of Defense issued new guidelines requiring all civilian personnel to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by November 22.

“The Department of Defense’s decision to require COVID-19 vaccination by November 22 for the Department’s civilian workforce will save lives and further protect communities across the United States from this deadly virus. This guidance for civilian employees of the Department also builds on progress to protect U.S. service members from COVID-19 by making vaccination mandatory across the entire force. This is the right decision for our public health and our national security.

“Protecting civilian personnel at the Department of Defense from COVID-19 helps protect U.S. national security — and beating this virus is too important for reckless partisanship or dangerous misinformation. By making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory across the civilian workforce at the Department, the Biden-Harris administration has continued to prioritize science, lives, and our national security.”