(The Center Square) – The Marine Corps is being asked by four members of Congress, led by a practicing doctor from North Carolina, to reach out to and return thousands of Marines expelled because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Wednesday’s letter to Gen. David Berger, commandant of the Marines, cited “unprecedented recruiting challenges your service and the entire Department of Defense is experiencing.” The letter noted the repeal of the vaccine mandate – by bipartisan support – and recognized the ability of those who could potentially be available for “positions where their Military Occupational Specialty expertise is of critical need.”

North Carolina Republican Rep. Greg Murphy, the only practicing physician in Congress, authored the letter alongside Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., Mike Bost, R-Ill., and Max Miller, R-Ohio. Bost is chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

In a release, Murphy’s office says the “Marine Corps dismissed over 3,700 Marines due to the vaccine mandate – by far the most of any of the military services.”

“It is an utter shame that many of these selfless individuals have been stripped of their livelihoods simply because they made a conscious medical decision,” Murphy said in the release, referring to his representation of more than 52,000 Marines aboard the North Carolina bases of Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station near Jacksonville, and Cherry Point in Havelock.

“Our request is quite simple,” the members of Congress wrote to Berger. “We request your recruiters explore reaching out to the thousands of Marines who were expelled to investigate as to who could fill positions where their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) expertise is of critical need. We would ask special consideration for those Marines who received re-enlistment bonuses due to a need for their MOS expertise.

“As you know, the Marine Corps is now in the process of attempting to recoup these bonuses, so these dismissed Marines face double jeopardy. General Berger, we greatly respect your past extraordinary service in our Corps and implore you to carefully consider this recommendation.”

The letter comes after an article published in Cell Host & Microbe earlier this year by Drs. Anthony Fauci, David Morens and Jeffery Taubenberger. Fauci, in 2022, left his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, from which he had great influence on the U.S. handling of COVID-19 under both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.

The article says developing long-term vaccines for respiratory conditions like COVID-19 still needs to be overcome, and that it is something researchers have known for years. Joe Zinberg, a Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow, told The Center Square last month that Fauci had acknowledged vaccines “would provide limited protection against infection and only for a short time.” Zinberg said Fauci persisted on the need for vaccines “and until recently pushed for vaccine mandates.”

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