Oklahoma National Guard soldiers are 'roadkill' for Gov. Kevin Stitt's political career: Rachel Maddow
Republican Governor Kevin Stitt (Screen Capture)

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow updated the battle between Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) and the Department of Defense and commander in chief.

Stitt told National Guard soldiers in his state to ignore the national vaccine requirement set by the Pentagon and the National Guard.

"I told you this was going to go badly. It's going badly," said Maddow. "Today the Pentagon gave them a formal response. This is a letter from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma. It was obtained by NBC News. It says, 'All members of the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard, regardless of duty status, must follow the directions of the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force, respectively, for specific instructions and may jeopardize the member's status in the National Guard.'"

Maddow explained that the letter means that the request was denied to Oklahoma.

"If members of the Oklahoma National Guard defy the federal order that they have to get vaccinated, then they may very well lose their jobs as members of the National Guard. That's what the rule means. A spokesperson for Oklahoma's governor tells the Oklahoma newspaper tonight that Gov Stitt maintains his position that the governors, the commander in chief, are all members of the National Guard while they are all Channel 32 status, meaning they are not actively deployed on a federal mission or training. So, neither side is backing down."

She said that her team called the Oklahoma National Guard to see what it would mean, and they said that as far as they know, their orders are still coming from the governor.

"But as far as the Pentagon and federal government are concerned, people are going to get kicked out of the National Guard if they don't comply with the vaccine requirement because the National Guard participants in all these federal things," Maddow explained. "It's ultimately commanded by the commander in chief, who is President Biden."

At the hand-off to Ali Velshi, the two hosts discussed the two sides that are putting soldiers between them.

"I remember thinking to myself, wow, there is this free vaccine that could save my life from a deadly virus," Velshi recalled from last year. "It did not occur to me one year ago that we would be having discussions like the on you just had, that people are actively working against a virus that is still active and killing people."

"And the governor of Oklahoma is giving wrong advice to people if they don't get it and what he is discouraging them from getting," Maddow replied. "When you think of all the heroism from National Guard members who have stepped up to distribute the vaccine, to do so much on COVID, and then for them to be roadkill for this governor."

See the discussion below:

Part 1:

Oklahoma National Guard must comply: Pentagon www.youtube.com

Part 2:

Pentagon vs. Oklahoma www.youtube.com