EXCLUSIVE: Senator Ted Cruz Explains Bringing Lieutenant Affected by Biden's Vaccine Mandate to State of the Union

Senator Ted Cruz made a forceful statement recently by bringing Lieutenant Levi Beaird to President Biden's State of the Union address, as he's one of the thousands of military service members who have been affected by the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Despite overwhelming evidence that the vaccines do not prevent transmission or infection, the administration has enforced, or continues to enforce, requirements that coerce individuals to comply with indefensible policies.

One such example is the requirement for international travelers to show proof of vaccination to enter the country, which has been repeatedly extended despite data disproving its necessity.


Another such example was, until very recently, mandates for the armed forces.

In December, the National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law, ending the administration's vaccination requirement.

Yet despite future recruits and service members not being subject to such policies, those who have served or continue to serve are still facing severe consequences for non-compliance.

LT. Beaird is one of many in that exact situation. Senator Cruz took the opportunity to invite him to the State of the Union, ensuring that politicians in D.C. were forced to see a personal example of how these mandates have affected those serving their country.

OutKick spoke to Beaird and Senator Cruz on Wednesday about the mandates, the personal and professional consequences and the punitive desires behind such policies.

Levi Beaird on Defying Vaccine Mandates

Lieutenant Beaird has an outstanding service record, with no reported problems or issues in the Navy. He also has impeccable qualifications, having received a master's degree from Naval Postgraduate School in national security studies.

His education entitled him to receive a $105,000 retention bonus, paid out in installments. As a condition of his education, the Navy required him to spend three years as a department head. If he doesn't complete that requirement, he'll be forced to repay the entirety of the bonus as well as the cost of his degree.

LT. Beaird had and has every intention of carrying out his duty.

Except the Navy won't let him.

All because he did not comply with the Biden administration's vaccine mandate.

Beaird requested a religious exemption, citing his virtually lifelong Christian faith. Despite the Navy finding that his convictions were sincere, his request was denied.

So Beaird appealed. Only to be denied again.

And they refused to tell him why.

"In both the initial denial and the appeal, they actually did not specify any specific reasons why," Beaird said.

Once receiving that denial, Beaird immediately realized that it was likely the "beginning of the end" of his career.

He explained that he believes the military's vaccine mandates were to give the appearance that they'd "done something," rather than serving any specific purpose.

But those desires have far reaching consequences, financially and otherwise.

Beyond the possibility that he could be forced to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars, Beaird explained how taxing it's been on him and his family.

He described being "ostracized" by command personnel, as well as some of the community and even his peers. It's been "lonely" and "devastating," he said, and left him wondering what could happen next.

Seeing the Navy approve other medical exemptions, admit that his religious convictions were sincere and still deny his request was tough to take. "It crushed me," Beaird concluded.

The stress on his family has also been immense, given that he's suffered from anxiety and depression as a result of the difficulties. Beaird's career trajectory was completely upended, despite documented performance outpacing a number of similar officers.

Despite wanting to fulfill his command obligations and the end of the mandate, the Navy now won't let him move into an operational role because he remains unvaccinated. In fact, Beaird is so committed to completing his duties, he explained that he wouldn't be interesting in getting out of the military even if offered the opportunity.

"We’re in the fight, we’re doing this. We’ve endured, I think, the worst of it," he said.

Senator Ted Cruz on the Biden Administration's Overreach

LT. Beaird is one of many thousands of military members who've suffered unnecessary consequences as a result of Biden's inexcusable vaccine mandates.

Senator Ted Cruz has made it a personal mission to right these wrongs and ensure that those who made their own choices are protected.

Senator Cruz spoke to OutKick about LT. Beaird and the administration's indefensible policies.

Individual liberty is one of the key considerations that's been ignored, according to Cruz.

"I do not believe any American should be forced to take the COVID vaccine against his or her wishes," he said. "Over the past two years I have introduced multiple pieces of legislation to repeal the mandates and to protect every individual’s right to make his or her own choice about whether to take the COVID vaccine."

He explained that the administration's "illegal and abusive vaccine mandates" are being used to punish those who won't comply and weed out ideological enemies.

When asked why such mandates continue despite the evidence against them, Cruz said they're "driven by the arrogance of power." "Democrats in the federal government and far too often in local governments, believed they had the power to force people to comply," he explained.

One of the supposed explanations for the military's vaccine mandate in particular was that it was necessary for military "readiness." But Cruz pointed out that with the science overwhelmingly confirming mandates were not necessary, the explanation for such requirements can only be political. "This is not science, it’s not protecting national security or readiness, it’s politics and ideology," he said.

The administration also defended their mandates despite tremendous recruiting shortages affecting the military. Shortages that could be at least partially due to these policies.

Cruz also brought up the example of a Coast Guard member who so courageously conducted rescue missions during Hurricane Ian that his team received praise from the President himself, only to immediately face termination over non-compliance with mandates.

Similarly, the military was ready to discharge Navy SEALS who didn't comply, while claiming that vaccine mandates were to help "readiness."

Such ridiculous behavior is, once again, best explained by politics, Cruz explained.

He said that the administration is "using these vaccine mandates as an excuse to engage in an ideological purge." They were "eagerly wanting to remove from the military, anyone who does not want comply," and "using it to get rid of people who are undesirables."

Even still, the "Biden administration is actively defying the letter and spirit of the law ending the mandates" by "actively discriminating" against unvaccinated service members, according to Cruz.

To stop this overreach and political targeting, Cruz has proposed the AMERICANS Act. The legislation is designed to provide relief to those who've been unfairly targeted, whether by reinstating those who were fired at their previous rank, or by ensuring they receive an honorable discharge.

"We owe it to these men and women who’ve served and defended our nation," Cruz said.

The legislation also, importantly, ensures that natural immunity is recognized.

Vaccine mandates have almost universally ignored the protection provided by natural immunity, let alone the vast differences in physical health and risk factors between individuals. The AMERICANS Act would ensure that natural immunity from previous COVID infection is finally included.

Cruz explained that he wanted to bring Lieutenant Beaird to the State of the Union specifically so that politicians in D.C. could have a name and a face highlighting the "gross injustice" done to those who were affected.

Naturally, despite his repeated attempts to find out just how many thousands, or tens of thousands of service members have been subject to unfair termination, the Biden administration has refused to answer.

Indefensible Policies

Lieutenant Beaird's story is vitally important.

Statistics often gloss over the cost borne by individual human beings. Beaird a near-perfect example.

He believed his sincerely held religious beliefs would be enough to justify an exemption. But the Biden administration's disastrous mandates and the Navy's inexplicable dismissal have now led him down a frustrating, life-altering path.

He's staring down the barrel of massive financial consequences and the permanent disruption of his career while being separated into a non-operational group because of his vaccination status. He's been ostracized by some of his peers and subjected to enhanced COVID related protocols.

All because Biden refused to follow science and end vaccine mandates for young military members, overwhelmingly at low risk due to their age and peak physical conditioning.

Faced with these facts, it's impossible not to come to the conclusion that Senator Cruz is entirely correct. Mandates were and are about seizing an opportunity to purge those who disagree with the administration's political views.

But what the administration and the Navy didn't count on was service members like LT. Beaird who are willing to fight these "illegal and abusive" mandates. Who realized that despite the personal risks involved, there was a tremendous opportunity to reaffirm the importance of freedom, individual liberty and religious conviction.

As Beaird explained, "The Navy has unintentionally given us a platform to where we can stand before the greatest Navy in the world and simply say Jesus is better."