The Pentagon has announced that it is temporarily suspending the planned vaccination of Guantanamo detainees against covid-19, due to a shortage of vaccines for health workers and for senior and vulnerable U.S. citizens.
A Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, confirmed via Twitter that none of the inmates had been vaccinated and that the vaccination plan is suspended until further notice.
U.S. Department of Defense announced vaccination of Guantanamo detainees
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Defense announced it would offer a coronavirus vaccine to Guantanamo detainees who want to be vaccinated.
Many U.S. lawmakers immediately publicly opposed the decision, including Republican Kevin McCarthy, who criticized Biden’s decision to vaccinate terrorists before doing so with health workers, senior citizens, and war veterans.
Republican Congresswoman, Elise Stefanik, said Biden’s decision was an inexcusable and an “unAmerican” thing to do.
The US is not fighting the pandemic as expected
The United States, with nearly 26 million infected and 436,000 dead, was hit with the pandemic harder than any other country.
President Biden has promised to allow 100 million Americans to be vaccinated in the first hundred days.
However, his plan is not going smoothly due to technical difficulties and a shortage of vaccines, and decisions to vaccinate terrorists surely won’t make things easier.
U.S. health officials reported that, of the 50 million doses distributed nationwide, less than 30 million were used.
Who “sits” in Guantanamo?
The U.S. prison at Guantanamo, Cuba, is intended for prisoners linked to the “war on terror,” including Pakistani Khaled Cheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Human rights activists, and especially those who opposed Donald Trump’s presidency, have often called for the closure of this prison, which is often mentioned in the context of fundamental human rights violations.
Although President Trump has “secured” the survival of Guantanamo Bay for at least another 25 years, the Biden administration could soon raise the question of its legality.
Guantanamo Bay opened in 2002, shortly after the arrest of the first jihadists in the US intervention in Afghanistan, following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
More than 700 inmates have passed through the prison, and it currently houses 40 terrorists.