The Pentagon Press Secretary raised eyebrows with his tweet over the weekend that stated, “No Guantanamo detainees have been vaccinated. We’re pausing the plan to move forward, as we review force protection protocols. We remain committed to our obligations to keep our troops safe.”
The tweet left millions of Americans forced to raise the question as to whether actual terrorists were in line to receive the vaccine ahead of them. Sadly the answer, apparently, was yes. That is until House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted that President Joe Biden “told us he would have a plan to defeat the virus on day 1. He just never told us that it would be to give the vaccine to terrorists before most Americans.”
McCarthy’s public statement led to the Pentagon’s pause on their plan to offer coronavirus vaccinations to Guantanamo detainees, just days after they announced they would administer the vaccine to any prisoners who wanted it. The Pentagon’s statement came just one hour after McCarthy outed them.
Criminal justice advocates believe incarcerated individuals should not only receive the vaccine, but should be high on the administered priority list. Others, naturally, think vaccinating masterminds of the September 11 terror plot before Americans is outright abhorrent.
During his time on the campaign trail, Biden made a promise to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Following up on his promise, “a group of former prisoners who at one point were detained at Guantanamo Bay penned a letter to Biden in the New York Review of Books on Friday urging him to close down the facility” reported NBC News.
In the letter, the former prisoners urged Biden; “President Bush opened it. President Obama promised to close it, but failed to do so. President Trump promised to keep it open. It is now your turn to shape your legacy with regards to Guantanamo.” Guantanamo Bay has “housed hundreds of wartime prisoners since the 9/11 attacks and lawmakers for years have struggled to close the prison” reports NBC News.