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Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta speaks at a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday, Sep. 16, 2019. Photo: Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Gray Television's Greta Van Susteren that President Biden should require all members of the military to take the coronavirus vaccine, saying it was a matter of "national security," the Hill reports.

Driving the news: More than half of all service members have received at least one COVID-19 shot as of late June, according to the Hill.

  • "I frankly think the president ought to issue an order requiring everybody in the military to get a COVID-19 shot, period," Panetta said in an interview with Van Susteren set to air on Sunday, per the Hill.
  • “The last damn thing you need is to have those in the military that are our warriors unable to respond to a mission because they've gotten COVID-19. There's no excuse for that," Panetta said.

The big picture: Due to the vaccines status as being under an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, the Pentagon cannot legally require all military members get the vaccine, but Biden could grant an exception.

  • During an interview in April with NBC's Craig Melvin, Biden said it would be a "tough call" about whether he would require service members to get the vaccine once the FDA fully approves it.
  • "I don’t know. I’m going to leave that to the military,” Biden said, per the Hill.

Go deeper

Oct 17, 2021 - Health

Fauci: J&J recipients will likely be able to mix and match boosters

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will likely allow recipients of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 to mix and match vaccine boosters depending on their individual health, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told ABC News' '"This Week" on Sunday.

Why it matters: The FDA's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed booster shots for adult recipients of the J&J vaccine. The panel is also exploring the mix and match strategy but hasn't yet taken a formal vote on the matter.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook's scandals have been great for shareholders

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios

Facebook has been embroiled in scandal for the past five years, and while the specific allegations change over time, a central theme is constant. Given the choice between commercial and moral imperatives, Facebook always seems to choose the option that is best for the share price.

Why it matters: Facebook's stock chart supports that narrative. Since the 2016 scandals alleging that the social network was infiltrated by foreign actors trying to influence the outcome of democratic elections, Facebook's revenues — and its stock — have been soaring.

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.