US Navy commander fired over no to vaccine

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A Navy commander has been fired from his job as the executive officer of a warship because he refused to get a Covid-19 vaccine as required and refused to be tested for the virus, Navy officials said Friday.

Cmdr. Lucian Kins was relieved of his duties Friday as second in command of the USS Winston Churchill, a destroyer, by Navy Capt. Ken Anderson, commander of Naval Surface Squadron 14.

Officials said Kins was the first naval officer to be fired as a result of a vaccine refusal. Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Jason Fisher declined to give the precise reason why Kins was relieved of command, citing privacy concerns.

Fisher, who is spokesman for the Naval Surface Force Atlantic, said the reason for the firing was that Anderson lost confidence in Kins’ ability to perform his duties after he failed to obey a lawful order.

Other officials, however, said it was because Kins refused the order to get the vaccine, and refused testing to ensure he did not have the virus.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel issues. One official said Kins has requested a religious exemption, which was denied. Kins is appealing that denial. –Agencies

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