Joe Biden responds to questions about the ongoing U.S. military evacuations of U.S. citizens and vulnerable Afghans, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on August 20, 2021. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 6:50 PM PT – Friday, August 20, 2021
Joe Biden revealed there’s no guarantee there won’t be losses when it comes to the Afghan withdrawal. He addressed the country on Friday, claiming the U.S. is making significant progress in getting Americans out of Afghanistan.
“We have secured the airport, enabling flights to resume. Not just military flights, but civilian charters and other…from other countries and the NGOs taking out civilians and vulnerable Afghans,” stated Biden.
As of Friday, an estimated 13,000 people have been evacuated amid the Taliban takeover of the country. However, Biden has faced harsh criticism for his handling of the withdrawal as thousands of American citizens and U.S. allies are still stuck in, and attempting to flee, from Afghanistan.
Biden appeared to shrug off those issues, expressing there would be time for second-guessing his decisions after the evacuation effort was complete. This comes after the AP reported that back in July a group of diplomats working in Kabul expressed concerns evacuation efforts weren’t moving along quickly enough.
Lawmakers have now called on Biden to make it clear his administration likely won’t meet the Aug. 31 deadline it set to finish operations in Afghanistan. In the meantime, Afghans have continued to flood the Kabul airport in an effort to leave the country before the end of the month.