Texas National Guard communication at odds with Abbott’s claim that COVID-19 vaccine is optional

(The Center Square) – One of three whistleblowers in a Congressional investigation into increases of diagnoses of serious medical conditions among U.S. service members is Lt. Col. Pete Chambers who in an exclusive interview with The Center Square says he is retiring after 39 years of service because he is being forced out of the Texas Army National Guard for his commitment to providing informed consent regarding the COVID-19 vaccines.

Chambers, the first Special Forces Operations Surgeon for the Green Berets, also raised concerns about the lack of leadership governing the Guard’s role in Operation Lone Star, a border security initiative Gov. Greg Abbott launched last March after President Joe Biden's policies led to large increases in illegal immigration.

Chambers' successor, a pediatric endocrinologist, Col. Robert Ferry, MD, has been traveling statewide to “dispel rumors, urban myths and misinformation swirling around” the COVID-19 vaccines, saying they’re “safe and effective.”

Abbott “has always maintained that vaccines are voluntary, never mandatory,” a spokesperson from Abbott's office told The Center Square, pointing to the state’s lawsuit against the Biden administration's vaccine mandates. However, Texas Military Department (TMD) Deputy Joint Surgeon Geoffrey Powell issued a memo stating, “As a reminder it’s our job to convince Soldiers to receive the vaccine. If you, personally, are not able to fulfill this role, please, privately message the State Surgeon, Col. Peter Coldwell.”

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