Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Saturday afternoon no detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison had received a Covid vaccine, and the Pentagon was “pausing” a plan to give accused terrorists, some involved in 9/11, shots as early as next week that led to outrage among Republicans.
Multiple reports surfaced over the past few days saying the Pentagon planned to start vaccinating inmates at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, with The New York Times reporting the plan involved vaccinating five alleged conspirators in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Kirby said in a tweet the Pentagon’s plan would be paused “as we review force protection protocols.”
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) tweeted a story about the reported plan Saturday, calling it “outrageous” that terrorists might be vaccinated before many “American seniors and veterans.”
Donald Trump Jr. followed—after Kirby said the plan was paused— saying of President Biden, “Terrorists First was his vaccine plan apparently.”
Terrorists First was his big vaccine plan apparently.
The new administration has a plan and as we warned you it’s America Last. https://t.co/9zpp2Qu27l
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 30, 2021
“We remain committed to our obligations to keep our troops safe,” Kirby said.
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.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) January 30, 2021
40. That’s how many inmates remain at the military prison, down from hundreds in the past. It was established under former President George W. Bush to house accused terrorists following the 9/11 attacks.
Vaccine efforts are continuing to ramp up around the U.S., with 28.9 million shots having been given as of Friday night, according to a Bloomberg tracker. But rollout efforts have continued to be plagued with problems, with most states having given at least a single shot to less than 7% of their population as of Friday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The Biden administration has ordered enough shots that all Americans should be able to be vaccinated by “early fall.”