EXCLUSIVE: Gen. David Petraeus says bolstering the U.S. military’s “core strength” and “will” to take on China and increasing aid for Ukraine should be top priorities in the annual defense policy bill, but also condemned Congress for ending the Biden administration’s military COVID-19 vaccine mandate and said complaints about the mandate are “manufactured outrage.”
Former CIA Director Petraeus, who served for 37 years in the U.S. Army, spoke with Fox News Digital at the Aspen Security Forum in Washington, D.C., Thursday about top priorities that should be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will be up for a final vote in the Senate before lawmakers leave town for the holidays.
Petraeus said he is worried about military “readiness” due to misperceptions about the COVID-19 military vaccine mandate, increased troop access to abortion after the rollback of Roe v. Wade and the increase of “woke” diversity and equity trainings.
“I’m concerned that perceptions of all that may [impact readiness],” he said. “I am not one who thinks that this is one of the huge issues that is facing the military. It is, however, something that is perceived to be an issue in certain circles, and I am concerned about that. I don’t think, I don’t see this kind of concern really manifest. Perception, certainly wrong. But, you know, this is it is a military that has always taken its shots. If its FDA approved and improves readiness, why would you not get that shot?” said Petraeus.
“And why there should be some concern about this particular shot is, frankly, because of domestic political issues that really I don’t think actually have particular merit. Once the FDA has approved it. Again, everybody is taking their flu shot every year,” he continued.
The House on Thursday passed its version of the NDAA including language to strip the Biden administration’s military COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Lawmakers cheered the move to end the “draconian” mandate, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called it a “win for our military.”
However, Petraeus disagreed, saying the mandate was designed to improve the readiness of the military, and that those opposed to it are overstating the problem.
“I don’t understand actually this particular issue, and I think it is a misperception. I think it is something that should not be present, frankly. Once it is, again FDA approved. And it is to improve the health and well-being and readiness of the workforce. That’s something that obviously should be supported,” he said.
“So I hope we can get past some of the hype. With all due respect, I think some of these are manufactured grievances to pursue domestic political issues. And I think we need to put these aside for the good of our men and women in uniform and their families and for the readiness of the U.S. military.”
The Pentagon has 30 days after the final passage of the NDAA to terminate the vaccine mandate.
Read more of this EXCLUSIVE interview at Fox News.
this guy is a typical communist dem and lies just like them
patreus let Trump down and continues to show what is wrong with deep state bureaucrats. Doesn’t he yet realize how political and non-scientific the FDA’s consideration was ? Sounds like it is time for him to fade into the sunset
Why does anybody think he was called betray-us?