Due to strong protests from Republicans in Congress and survivors of the “9.11” terrorist attacks, the US Department of Defense announced on January 30 that it would suspend the new coronal vaccination program for suspects in custody at the detention center of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“No Guantanamo detainees have been vaccinated,” Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby said in a tweet on social media. “After reviewing the force protection agreement, we suspended the program, and we remain committed to the obligation to ensure the safety of the force.”
Two Defense Department officials confirmed to Fox News that the Department of defense plans to provide new vaccines to 40 suspected terrorists at Guantanamo detention center. It is reported that due to the lack of vaccination, it is difficult for federal prosecutors to hold war crimes hearings at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay.
The New York Post quoted an official from the Department of defense as saying that the order to vaccinate suspects involved in terrorism in Guantanamo detention center was signed by Terry adirim, the first deputy assistant secretary in charge of health affairs of the Department of defense. The vaccination will be carried out “on a voluntary basis and according to the priority distribution plan of the Department of defense”.
Among the suspects detained in the detention center of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay are Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attack. It is not clear whether any suspects in custody are infected with the virus. The base medical staff and soldiers in the garrison have been vaccinated with the new vaccine since January 8.
The Ministry of defense provided vaccination to the suspects in Guantanamo detention center, which aroused fierce criticism from Republicans in Congress and survivors of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“It’s unforgivable that President Biden chose to give priority to the vaccination of Guantanamo convicted terrorists, rather than the vaccination of vulnerable elderly Americans and veterans,” said New York Republican representative Alice Stefanik
“President Biden told us on his first day that he would have plans to defeat the virus,” Kevin McCarthy, a Republican and minority leader in the house of Representatives, tweeted. “It’s just that he never told us that the vaccine would be provided to terrorists before it was provided to most Americans.”
According to the latest COVID-19 statistical data released by Johns Hopkins University, as of January 30th, there were more than 26 million confirmed cases in the United States, and more than 430 thousand deaths were reported. The United States is the country with the largest number of newly diagnosed cases and deaths in the world.
In order to curb the spread of the virus and reduce the mortality rate, the federal government of the United States is stepping up the distribution and vaccination of vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, as of January 30, nearly 50 million doses of vaccine had been distributed and 30 million doses had been vaccinated in the United States. About 24 million people had received the first dose of vaccine.
US President Joseph Biden said on January 26 that he will increase the number of vaccines distributed to states by 16% in the next few weeks, and will purchase 100 million doses of new crown vaccines from Modena and 100 million doses of new crown vaccines jointly developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology company, so as to vaccinate 300 million Americans at the end of summer or early autumn this year. (Jiang guopeng) (special feature of Xinhua News Agency)