COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccineiStock

Republicans responded angrily to the Pentagon's plan to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all detainees at Guantanamo Bay, including 9/11 ringleader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Fox News reported.

The US will offer the vaccines to the 40 detainees at Gitmo, two US defense officials confirmed to Fox News.

A Pentagon spokesman told the New York Post, the order was signed on January 27 by Terry Adirim, the Biden official who serves as the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

"It will be administered on a voluntary basis and in accordance with the Department’s priority distribution plan," a spokesman told the outlet.

On Saturday, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said, "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. Dan Bishop (R-NC), said, "Nothing says unity like letting the 9/11 mastermind & Gitmo detainees skip in front of millions of Americans for the COVID vaccine."

Steve Guest, communications adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted, "Joe Biden: making sure terrorists get vaccinated since 2021."

According to The New York Times, federal prosecutor Clayton Trivett Jr., who is trying on the case against five inmates believed to have aided the September 11, 2001, attacks, told defense lawyers that, "an official in the Pentagon just signed a memo approving the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine to the detainee population in Guantanamo."

According to reports, a lack of vaccination has made it difficult for prosecutors to move forward with hearings.