Sen. Lankford demands DOD IG audit after Navy chaplain denied religious exemption to COVID-19 vaccine

Senator James Lankford, R-Ok., is demanding the acting inspector general of the Department of Defense (DOD) audit into the agency’s religious exemption requests for its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Lankford will be sending a letter to Sean O’Donnell, the acting DOD inspector general, requesting the audit amid reports of a Navy chaplain and other sailors being denied a religious exemption.

“From the data points on religious accommodations for the COVID-19 vaccine that I have received, it is clear that DOD leaders are ignoring the sincerely-held religious beliefs of service members,” Lankford wrote.

“Until a few weeks ago, the U.S. military had not approved a single religious accommodation request across all branches,” the senator continued. “Since then, the Department has informed me they have approved twelve requests—all granted to service members who are already planning to separate from their service—out of thousands of requests.”

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