National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby, who retired from the U.S. Navy in 2015 with the rank of rear admiral, defended the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military service members while simultaneously admitting that he is twice boosted but still got the illness himself.
During an interview on Tuesday’s episode of “Fox & Friends” Kirby, who previously served as assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, described vaccinations as “a valid military requirement” while also noting that he was speaking from his home due to his own experience with COVID-19.
Kirby said of vaccination that “even if it doesn’t prevent you from getting COVID — I’m double boosted, I got it myself … it makes the symptoms a lot less severe.”
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Prominent vaccine advocates, including President Joe Biden and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci, have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated and boosted twice.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tested positive for COVID-19 in August despite having been fully vaccinated and boosted.
“Now, as in January, my doctor told me that my fully vaccinated status, including two booster shots, is why my symptoms are less severe than would otherwise be the case,” Austin said in a statement. “Vaccinations continue to both slow the spread of COVID-19 and to make its health effects less severe. Vaccination remains a medical requirement for our workforce, and I continue to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated and boosted.”
Austin had previously tested positive in January. “As my doctor made clear to me, my fully vaccinated status — and the booster I received in early October — have rendered the infection much more mild than it would otherwise have been,” he said in a statement at the time.