New data shows that only 43 of the 8,000 U.S. troops discharged for COVID-19 vaccine refusal have rejoined the service, despite Republican lawmakers' push to remove military vaccine mandates when negotiating military funding.

Earlier in the year, Republican lawmakers in Congress, notably U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) and U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), pushed removing the federal vaccine requirements in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year.

Tuberville worked in tandem with 10 other members of the Senate to ensure the inclusion of the measure in this most recent version of the NDAA. While, in the House, Moore endorsed the NDAA while pushing another bill to allow servicemembers to reclaim their previous post while receiving retainer pay for the time since their separation to the date of reinstatement.

According to data provided to CNN by military officials, only a tiny fraction of forcibly separated servicemembers have reenlisted after the mandate was rescinded.

Only 19 soldiers have rejoined the Army, while 12 have returned to the Marines. For the Navy, only two rejoined, while CNN reports only one separated Air Force member rejoined.

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