Biden MIA as Pentagon Admits to Killing Afghan Civilians, France Recalls Envoys & Booster Jab Vetoed
05:56 GMT 18.09.2021 (Updated: 13:24 GMT 06.08.2022)
Joe Biden came under fire last month for vacationing at the Camp David presidential retreat instead of being at the White House as the Taliban* reached the gates of Kabul and subsequently took over the Afghan capital. It took the US president over a day to finally address the collapse of the western-backed Afghan government and the Taliban's win.
US President Joe Biden has departed the White House for a weekend at his home in Delaware as at least three political upheavals came to the fore this week.
During the trip to Delaware and after arriving, POTUS preferred not to speak with reporters about the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
rejecting booster shots for COVID-19 vaccines, the Pentagon admitting to killing Afghan civilians, and France recalling its ambassadors from the US and Australia.
On Friday, the FDA's advisory panel voted overwhelmingly to reject Pfizer-BioNTech's booster shots for the coronavirus vaccine. The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) concluded that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that a third dose was safe and effective for use at least six months after the final dose. The move is expected to put in jeopardy a key part of Biden's plan to combat COVID-19 and its more dangerous and transmissible Delta strain.
In another development, General Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command (USCENTCOM), admitted that no Daesh-Khorasan* militants were killed in the 29 August airstrike in Kabul, which instead claimed the lives of 10 civilians, including a US aid contractor and seven children.
McKenzie said that the decision to order the airstrike "was a mistake", taking full responsibility for the "tragic outcome" of the attack. The airstrike was ordered in the wake of Daesh-Khorasan's terrorist attacks targeting crowds of civilians as well as US and Taliban soldiers outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on 26 August. Some 200 people were killed and thousands more injured in the bombings.
One more development on Friday saw Paris summoning its ambassadors in the US and Australia for consultations, after Washington, London, and Canberra struck a new security agreement (AUKUS)
, followed by the Australian government's withdrawal from a hefty deal on conventional submarines with France's Naval Group.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement that "the announcement of a new partnership with the United States aimed at launching studies on future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines, constitutes unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners, the consequences of which affect our very conception of our alliances, our partnerships, and the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe".
President Biden's visit to his Delaware beach house comes after The Telegraph reported last month that President Biden ignored UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's attempts to contact him for about 36 hours as the Taliban cemented its control over the Afghan capital Kabul in mid-August. After Johnson finally got in touch with Biden, the British PM reportedly urged POTUS not to throw away the "gains made in Afghanistan".
6 September 2021, 06:43 GMT
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on 15 August following a rapid advance on government forces amid the US and NATO troop exit from the nation.
*The Taliban and Daesh-Khorasan are terrorist organisations banned in Russia and many other nations.