OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
After President Joe Biden warned of “nuclear Armageddon’ as the war between Ukraine and Russia continues, his administration just did something that has many concerned.
The Department of Health and Human Services spent $290 million to purchase drugs that would combat radiation sickness, The Washington Examiner reported.
HHS said that the purchase is not related to the president’s comments or to any imminent nuclear threat, but part of a long standing preparedness measures.
“This purchase is part of long-standing, ongoing efforts by the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to better prepare the U.S. for the potential health impacts of a wide range of threats to national security including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, pandemic and emerging infectious diseases,” a spokesperson for HHS said.
The purchase, part of Project BioShield, will be stored in vendor managed inventory.
“Under Project BioShield contracts, ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority [BARDA] supports development of diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments to respond to the potential health impacts of such threats, and when development is successful, purchases the products for national preparedness.”
“Exposure to acute ionizing radiation can induce thrombocytopenia as part of damage to the hematopoietic system. In January 2021, Amgen’s Nplate received FDA approval for treatment of thrombocytopenia due to acute radiation syndrome and is ready for inclusion in the SNS. Funding will be used to procure additional treatment courses and initiate vendor managed inventory,” it said on its website.
Last week CNN host Jake Tapper is demanding answers as to what President Joe Biden is talking about after the White House had to walk back comments he made about being close to “nuclear Armageddon.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is… underperforming,” he said at a fundraiser in NYC, Wall Street Journal reporter Tarini Parti said.
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis,” he said.
But the White House walked back the comments when U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that “we are looking very carefully to see if Russia is actually doing anything that suggests that they are contemplating the use of nuclear weapons. To date, we’ve not seen them take these actions.”
“This kind of loose talk about nuclear weapons is the height of irresponsibility and it’s something that we take very seriously,” he said.
On Sunday, Tapper confronted Democrat Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy about the comments and the walk back.
“So what’s President Biden talking about?” the host said to the senator who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Do you see Armageddon as a real possibility?”
“I think the president is right to raise the risk of nuclear conflict because Vladimir Putin is increasingly getting pushed into a corner,” the senator said. “This war is going incredibly badly for him, the mobilization that he’s undertaken has backfired.”
“This is a dangerous man,” he said. “The United States has to be ready for Putin to use a tactical nuclear weapon.”
But he did agree that there is no imminent suggestion that Putin was on the brink of using nuclear weapons.
“I don’t think there’s any sign that he is going to do that imminently,” he said. “It’s important for us to send signals about what the consequences would be should he make that choice. I think Joe Biden is right, to get this country ready for the fact that you’re dealing with an incredibly dangerous human being in Russia, the war is going badly, and you just can’t predict what he’s going to do next.”
The host said that “someone who has ties to the Ukrainian government expressed concern to me that president Biden might be playing into Putin’s hands by escalating the rhetoric.”
“This war can end if Vladimir Putin decides to get his troops and personnel out of Ukraine,” the senator said. “He made a decision to invade a sovereign neighboring country. The blood today and tomorrow is on his hands. I think the president has made the right call to be very clear with Putin about what we’re going to do and what we’re not going to do.
“Do you see Armageddon as a real possibility?”
CNN’s @jaketapper discusses President Joe Biden’s warning about the potential for a nuclear threat from Russia with Senator @ChrisMurphyCT (D) and how Cabinet officials are responding. @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/TLtnk2n791
— CNN (@CNN) October 9, 2022
“I don’t want to get into a world in which we start blaming ourselves for escalation. This is Putin’s war. And it’s his decision whether it ends,” he said.