Outside of first responders and the elderly, most Americans have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, yet they can anticipate waiting in line behind Islamic terrorists being housed at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The Defense Department will offer the vaccine to Gitmo detainees as soon as next week, Fox News reported, citing defense officials with knowledge of the decision.
While the Trump administration had not specified whether the prisoners would be vaccinated, the Pentagon, under President Joe Biden, has decided to allow willing detainees to be vaccinated.
Clayton G. Trivett Jr., a prosecutor in the case against five prisoners charged with conspiring in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, told defense attorneys in a letter on Thursday that “an official in the Pentagon has just signed a memo approving the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine to the detainee population in Guantánamo.”
That’s according to the New York Times, which added that Trivett said the 40 Gitmo detainees could start receiving the first of two required doses “on a voluntary basis” as soon as Monday.
There are 6,000 residents at the U.S. naval base, including 1,500 troops assigned to the detention operation, and they began receiving vaccines on Jan. 8, the article said.
A lack of vaccinations has reportedly been an obstacle for the Pentagon in proceeding with the legal cases against those charged with war crimes, including the case against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, seen as one of the masterminds behind the 9/11 attacks.
More from the Times:
It is not known how many people at Guantánamo have been infected with the coronavirus. Early in the pandemic, the military reported two cases there, both believed to be sailors. The Defense Department then halted disclosure of data about specific installations.
Lack of vaccinations has been a major obstacle to resuming war crimes hearings at the base’s Camp Justice compound. It was not immediately known whether the defendants in the Sept. 11 case, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, would consent to be vaccinated.
For Americans being put behind terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Biden urged them this week to wear masks as it could take “months” for them to be vaccinated.
“The brutal truth is, it’s going to take months before we can the majority of Americans vaccinated – months,” Biden said. “In the next few months, masks, not vaccines, are the best defense against COVID-19. Experts say that wearing masks from now just until April would save 50,000 lives that otherwise would pass away if we don’t wear these masks.”
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
I am not a criminal but I am a 69 y o woman, 2x breast cancer survivor who can’t even get the vaccine yet in CA!😡
— Marlene L Bigley (@bigley_l) January 28, 2021
— Peter Varrone (@pvarrone9) January 28, 2021
Where were you when you learned that a 9/11 terrorist would get vaccinated before you and your coworkers in a high-risk industry?
— Mikey Tango 🇻🇮🇸🇪 (@MikaelDoumeng) January 29, 2021
My grandma still hasn’t even gotten it. Glad her doses have been sent to Guantanamo.
— Cade Cunningham (@cadecunninghamc) January 29, 2021
An insult to all Americans.
— Phillip Ruland (@Rulo123) January 29, 2021
Ahead of the law-abiding citizens who haven’t even gotten past the 65 or older bracket?
— Magic (@WesthouseMagic) January 29, 2021
Fine, but after every American who wants one gets it first…
— 🇺🇸Empathetically Political🇺🇸 (@empathicpolitic) January 29, 2021
Didn’t Obama close that thing? pic.twitter.com/mfxzcsAEyt
— The Pragmatic Realist (@oneangrycock) January 29, 2021
As the last recipients?
— Will Mitchell-Johnson (@WillMitchellJo1) January 29, 2021
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