The Biden administration’s policy of not allowing the unvaccinated to serve in the military is “the stupidest thing on the planet,” Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) said on the Todd Starnes Show.
Listen to the full conversation below:
The following is a rush transcript from the Todd Starnes Show which airs daily from noon to 3:00 p.m. E.T.
TODD STARNES: [00:42:11] The congressman happens to be on the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. Hey, Congressman, how are you today? [00:42:17][5.6]
REP. GREEN (R-TN): [00:42:18] I’m great, Todd. How are you? [00:42:19][1.4]
STARNES: [00:42:21] Congressman, doing well, we are managing through the heat and the chaos of the political season, but otherwise doing pretty good. [00:42:28][6.8]
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GREEN: [00:42:29] That’s awesome. [00:42:34][5.1]
STARNES: [00:42:34] Congressman, let’s get to this. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover with you. And one of the things that we’ve noticed coming off of this trip to the Middle East, President Biden does not look like a well man. And I know Congressman Ronny Jackson has been offering some thoughts on that. I’d like to get your take as a lawmaker. [00:42:54][20.2]
GREEN: [00:42:56] Well, you know, I’m not a neurologist, I’m an ER physician, but I mean I know enough to know that, you know, some of these gaps are just, as they pile up, you have to wonder a little bit about his cognitive ability. Very clearly, if it was Trump making this, the left would be going bananas. I do recall them asking him to take cognitive tests, which he did and passed with flying colors. So it’s a little frustrating, the double standard. But I mean, every speaker gets tongue twisted at times. Your brain goes a little bit faster than your mouth and tongue and you say it not the way you want to say it or you say the opposite of what you want to say. I mean, that happens to every speaker. But as it just consistently piles up with the president in very important settings, when we’re actually negotiating with foreign powers, it becomes problematic. And it’s something that can certainly communicate to our adversaries an incapacity there. But equally and perhaps even worse than his gaffes are just his bad decision making. I mean, you look at Afghanistan, you look at the delayed approach to Ukraine, you look at selling oil to China. I mean, all of those things also show tremendous weakness. So I’m not sure which is worse, the gaffes or just the stupid decision making. [00:44:19][83.1]
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STARNES: [00:44:20] It’s bad no matter how you cut it, Congressman. Also, we’ve been looking at how the Biden Pentagon has been treating members of the National Guard, soldiers, airmen, Marines, anyone who has a religious exemption or they don’t want to get the vaccine for whatever reason. You tried to introduce an amendment to allow guardsmen to stay employed. We understand that we’re hearing numbers all over the place from a quarter million to 400,000. But a lot of people could be in jeopardy here. [00:44:56][35.9]
GREEN: [00:44:57] It looks like the numbers we’re getting from the states. And that’s where I’m relying on an accurate number, by the way, not the DOD, is about 62,000 to 64,000. I checked with with Tennessee, it’s about 4,000 of those that actually will lose pay, it’s slightly less than that. Alabama is 1,400. To put it in perspective to our region of about the same proportionality, I mean, Alabama’s a state about half the population of our state. So it’s you know, it’s around that size in every state. It adds up to about 64,000. That’s four divisions worth of troops. So if you think about the combat power of the United States, now granted a lot of the support services exist in the Guard, but there are combat units in the guard. And so these units are now getting critically short of personnel. And they just added by taking 62,000, 64,000 people out of the force. It is the stupidest thing on the planet, particularly when it comes to COVID, because COVID, you know, the death of this population group is .0000, you know, it’s just infinitesimal. At some point, you have to just say it’s zero. And it makes no sense whatsoever. Meanwhile, the DOD has allowed HIV positive patients to stay in the Army and deploy. So a sergeant on the battlefield is going to stick his hand in the chest with ribs all cracked and bone exposed, and the patient may very well have HIV and his glove tears on the bone. The doctor now is taking or the medic is now taking HIV prophylaxis drugs for the rest of his life. I mean, it just it makes no sense. Their thinking is backwards in this entire administration. [00:46:49][112.0]
STARNES: [00:46:50] And, Congressman, just so people know, not only are you a congressman, you are a combat veteran, a physician and a businessman. So you know what you’re talking about here. And so it sounds like you’re saying this issue is really not one of medical safety, but it’s one of political expediency. [00:47:07][16.9]
GREEN: [00:47:09] Oh, absolutely. You know, I get the need for vaccinations in military. I even get the need for mandatory vaccinations. You take anthrax or smallpox, I had to get all of that stuff when I was in, I was a special operator. So I had some weird vaccinations, Japanese encephalitis virus, all that stuff. And I totally get it because when a unit deploys, half the force can’t immediately go down due to a major sickness. But you know, what we’re discovering about COVID is that it doesn’t devastate this age group like some of those others. And so, from a military strategic standpoint, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. [00:47:50][40.9]
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STARNES: [00:47:51] Is there anything that can be done on the state level? The governor of Tennessee, a Republican, Bill Lee, is there any way that he could intervene here? [00:47:58][7.0]
GREEN: [00:47:59] Yeah, absolutely. And I think they are. I know I spoke to the senior leadership of the Guard bureau. And, you know, they’re anticipating something. I talked to legislators like Jack Johnson there. They’re planning something. What they can do is move them to the state guard. The state would then supply the money to the state guard to cover their salary. We think it’s around 7 to $8 million a year. So it’s not a, you know, in terms of the Tennessee budget, it’s not a huge amount of money. But, you know, they could then pay these guys, keep them in the state guard. How you use them has to change, it would mostly be for in state actions but there are plenty of things that can be done and they could drill and get paid. [00:48:51][52.0]
STARNES: [00:48:53] Congressman, you know, another big story we’ve been looking at these Jan. 6 hearings, which I’ve called a kangaroo court. And it’s I mean, it’s clear. I mean, that may be a friendly way of saying it, but this is all a hit job. I mean, they have no interest in getting to the bottom of the truth. It’s their version of the truth that they’re trying to control here. [00:49:14][21.3]
GREEN: [00:49:16] Yeah. So everything you just said is true, but honestly, it’s hurting them. We did some analysis in swing states that shows like 57% of independents in swing voting states thought this was a farce, a joke. So they’re actually hurting themselves. And I was talking to a Democrat colleague who is sharing her perspective on it. She was out knocking doors, talking to people who had voted for Biden. So this is a Biden voter in a Democrat district who said, I’m not paying any attention at all. So they’re hurting themselves with this thing. [00:49:56][39.8]
STARNES: [00:49:57] No doubt about that. And I think they’re hurting the country, too. You know, this it’s shameful what they’re doing. And especially the Republicans on that committee, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. They should know better. They’ve had the opportunity to pose questions and to do some redirect. But they have no interest in doing that because of their hatred of Donald Trump. And you know what? We already know what Kinzinger is going to do there. And Liz Cheney is in a world of hurt in her own congressional district now. [00:50:25][27.9]
GREEN: [00:50:26] Yeah, well, we knew that this was where they were going to go because the Democrats directed and determined who was going on the committee. Normally, you know, the majority leader or the speaker and the minority leader pick the people that go on these select committees. And in this case, Pelosi would not allow the selections that McCarthy had and she picked the Republicans. So we knew from the beginning that this was preplanned, orchestrated exactly the way Nancy Pelosi wanted it to be. That hit job that you describe, only it’s backfiring. [00:51:05][38.5]
STARNES: [00:51:06] Alright, before we let you go, there is some exciting news. You guys had a bit of excitement on the farm over the weekend and we just shared the video you got to share with our listeners what happened. [00:51:17][10.4]
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GREEN: [00:51:18] Yeah. So my wife, it’s the first time we’ve ever you know, we’ve had horses for a long time. My daughter is a is a competitor. And we board people’s horses. But we actually decided to have a foal. And my wife bred her mare, and we got a new baby this weekend. It was really exciting. She’s cute and running around the farm right now. [00:51:43][24.9]
STARNES: [00:51:44] I love it. Well, congratulations. That’s exciting news. [00:51:46][2.5]
GREEN: [00:51:47] Yeah, yeah. Life goes on even though you’re in Congress. [00:51:50][2.9]
STARNES: [00:51:50] It does. And, Congressman, we know you come out to West Tennessee a lot, so don’t be a stranger. You got a lot of fans out here in this part of the state. [00:51:58][7.8]
GREEN: [00:51:59] Awesome, well give everybody my love. Tennessee’s an amazing state. We wouldn’t be Tennessee without the folks in West Tennessee. We wouldn’t be Tennessee without the folks in Memphis. Love you guys, and thanks for for all you do for us. [00:52:12][12.8]
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