The US defense ministry has stalled plans to vaccinate inmates held at the Guantanamo Bay prison for Covid-19.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby made the announcement on Twitter Saturday, amid pressure to disregard the health condition of prisoners held over the so-called war on terror by the United States.
.@PentagonPresSec said in a tweet Saturday that the @DeptofDefense would be "pausing" the plan to give the vaccination to those held at Guantanamo while it reviews measures to protect troops who work there.https://t.co/dKD9opjeQA— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) January 31, 2021
“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,” read the tweet.
The announcement was made amid earlier objections by certain lawmakers, arguing that the American people should be vaccinated first.
"It is inexcusable and un-American that President Biden is choosing to prioritize vaccinations for convicted terrorists in Gitmo over vulnerable American seniors or veterans," Rep. Elise Stefanik said.
It is not yet clear how many cases of the coronavirus exist in Gitmo.
US pauses its plan to issue Covid-19 vaccination to 40 prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay https://t.co/7BdQ4YbQLm— TRT World (@trtworld) January 31, 2021
"Nothing says #unity like letting the 9/11 mastermind & Gitmo detainees skip in front of millions of Americans for the COVID #vaccine," Stefanik said.
Guantanamo was established by former president George W. Bush’s administration in 2002 as a prison for alleged foreign terrorism suspects following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US.
A Senate report in December 2014 revealed that the CIA has used a wide array of sexual abuse and other forms of torture as part of their interrogation methods against Guantanamo prisoners.
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