A spokesperson for Stitt, who has vocally opposed the vaccine requirement for Oklahoma National Guard members, told AP that Mancino’s hire was not due to the vaccination policy.
“The governor had been exploring making a change for a number of months, and Thompson had submitted his resignation” in October to take effect in January, spokesperson Carly Atchison said, per AP.
Thompson told the Tulsa World that the governor had asked him to resign in October but that they agreed he would remain in place until January.
The Department of Defense will respond “appropriately” to a decision this week by the Oklahoma National Guard to rescind the Pentagon’s requirement for service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Driving the news: “We are aware of the memo issued by the Oklahoma Adjutant General regarding COVID vaccination for Guardsmen and the governor’s letter requesting exemption. We will respond to the governor appropriately,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told Axios in a statement.
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“That said, Secretary Austin believes that a vaccinated force is a more ready force. That is why he has ordered mandatory vaccines for the total force, and that includes our National Guard, who contribute significantly to national missions at home and abroad,” Kirby added.
State of play: The Pentagon’s statement comes after Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino, who now oversees the Oklahoma National Guard, “rescinded” the requirement.
Mancino cited a written request from the governor to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking DOD to “immediately consider suspending the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for national guardsmen in Oklahoma.”
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) is “awaiting an decision” from the Defense secretary, Mancino wrote in the memo dated Thursday
“No negative administrative or legal action will be taken against Guardsmen who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine,” according to the memo.
The big picture: Mancino earlier this week was selected by Stitt to replace Gen. Michael Thompson, who had supported COVID-19 vaccinations and said that members who do not receive the vaccine would be advised on alternative options.
Thompson told reporters on Thursday that he learned he’d been relieved of duty via social media.
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Hunterdon County has administered more than 175,561 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of Tuesday, according to data from the New Jersey Department of Health.
That’s up 2.07% from the previous week’s tally of 171,993 COVID-19 doses administered.
In Hunterdon County, 65% of residents are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers someone fully vaccinated two weeks after they’ve been given a single-dose shot (Johnson & Johnson) or a second shot (either Pfizer or Moderna).
New Jersey reported 1,209,785 total cases of coronavirus, an increase of 0.74% from the week before.
The five counties with the highest percentage of their population fully vaccinated in New Jersey are Somerset (72%), Morris (71%), Bergen (70%), Hudson (69%) and Middlesex (68%).
Here are the latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Hunterdon County:
How many people in Hunterdon County have received a COVID-19 vaccine?
81% of people in Hunterdon County have received at least one dose of the vaccine, for a total of 101,614 people
65% of people in Hunterdon County are fully vaccinated, for a total of 80,998 people
For a county-by-county look at the vaccination rollout, see our COVID-19 vaccine tracker, which is updated daily.
How many people in NJ have been vaccinated?
76% of people in New Jersey have received at least one dose of the vaccine, for a total of 6,743,218 people
67% of people in New Jersey are fully vaccinated, for a total of 5,932,492 people
COVID vaccinations for kids and boosters
The percentages in this story reflect the total share of the population that has received vaccines. That now includes people as young as 5 years old, for whom vaccines have been authorized.
These weekly stories will be updated as more data on vaccination rates in children, as well as booster vaccination rates, are released.
We pull data on local vaccine distribution on a weekly basis. Check back for our next weekly update for the latest numbers.