First the Pandemic, Then the Purge - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
First the Pandemic, Then the Purge

“The pandemic is over, but the purge continues,” Stephen Crampton, senior counsel for the conservative Thomas More Society, told me.

We were talking about Zach Loesch, a Coast Guard aviation survival technician — a real hero about to lose his job because he won’t betray his deeply held beliefs.

As Hurricane Ian walloped Florida, Loesch kicked through a house wall in order to rescue a disabled woman and her husband. Then he went back to get her wheelchair. He also rescued a bunch of cats and dogs.

President Joe Biden called Loesch and other rescuers to thank them on Friday. But afterward, Loesch told Breitbart that he will have to leave the Coast Guard in 30 to 60 days — because he won’t get vaccinated for COVID.

In September 2021, Biden issued an executive order mandating that federal workers be vaccinated. The order wasn’t practical given staffing shortages in essential services. In a nod to reality and the legal system, the mandate has been whittled down and postponed, but it still exists for members of the armed forces — the very people who sacrifice their personal safety to protect others.

This makes no sense: Biden is holding onto the military vaccine mandate even after he said the pandemic is over.

And even after the vaccine’s effectiveness has not lived up to the hype. (That’s not a hit on the vaccine developers. They tried but have not hit the mark they had hoped to achieve.)

The list of individuals who got COVID after being vaccinated includes Biden and the first lady.

After the Loesch phone call, the White House released a readout, reporting that Biden had asked Loesch and others “if they needed any additional support that he can provide to accelerate successful rescues; they indicated they have gotten what they need to execute their vital mission.”

Loesch obviously thinks that the government would not be able to dismiss him and that its interference would be helpful, but he told Breitbart that he didn’t think it was appropriate to ruin his talk with the president by mentioning his pending dismissal.

Loesch added, “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 also disclosed that he had applied for a religious exemption — and been turned down.

He appealed. He was turned down again.

The Thomas More Society has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Coast Guard members who object to the mandate because they believe the vaccines were developed with fetal cell lines. This reasoning, to me, is irrelevant. It’s their right to adhere to their deeply held beliefs that should be honored here.

Like other branches of the military, the Coast Guard is facing a considerable recruitment shortfall. America’s national security is as perilous as I’ve ever seen. Yet the Biden administration is willing to lose good men and women over a vaccine that hasn’t stopped the spread of COVID.

Asked during Tuesday’s press briefing if Biden would reconsider the military vaccine mandate in light of his talk with Loesch, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded in her usual foggy fashion. Jean-Pierre said that Biden “has the deepest respect” for the Coast Guard and suggested that the press ask the Coast Guard about the issue — even though the mandate is a Biden policy. She stated, “It’s not something that I would comment from here.”

“Who believes the government when they say anything these days?” Crampton asked me. “They have lost all credibility with the American public.”

Debra J. Saunders is a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership. Contact her at


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