On Friday, President Joe Biden called several superintendents who are defying mask mandate bans in their states as the situation in Afghanistan worsened.
As reported by The Associated Press, “Biden spoke separately by phone Friday with Superintendent Chad Gestson of the Phoenix Union High School District and interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright of Broward County Public School, the White House said in a statement Saturday.”
The White House said that the president and the superintendents spoke about “their shared commitment to getting all students back in safe, full-time in-person learning this school year” and that Biden “commended their leadership and courage to do the right thing for the health and well-being of their students, teachers, and schools.”
In July, Republican Governor of Arizona Doug Ducey said, “Arizona does not allow mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports or discrimination in schools based on who is or isn’t vaccinated. We’ve passed all of this into law, and it will not change.”
Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis signed an executive order last month that enables parents to decide whether or not they want their child to wear a mask.
As The Washington Post reported, “The fall of Kabul began to seem all but inevitable on [Friday,] Aug. 13, after the Taliban had overrun Afghanistan’s second- and third-largest cities, Kandahar and Herat, as well as the city of Lashkar Gah in the southwest.”
On Saturday, the outlet reported, “The Biden administration authorized more troops to help with evacuation efforts, bringing the number to approximately 5,000, as Taliban fighters reached the outskirts of Kabul, the seat of the Afghan government.”
Biden put out a statement on Saturday saying, “Over the past several days, I have been in close contact with my national security team to give them direction on how to protect our interests and values as we end our military mission in Afghanistan.”
He laid out several steps he had taken to respond to the situation.
His statement reads in part:
Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in U.S. history. One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.
When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. Forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. Forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500. Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our Forces and our allies’ Forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict. I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Biden has been heavily criticized for his lack of commentary on the situation in Afghanistan.
“Biden ordered a complete pullout of the U.S. from Afghanistan in April. In the past week, the Taliban has conquered multiple major cities across the country and entered the nation’s capital of Kabul. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled on Sunday morning, all but sealing the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan,” The Daily Wire reported.
“While the Taliban have blitzed across Afghanistan in the wake of U.S. military forces pulling out, Biden has been absent from Washington. The president left the capital on Thursday for Camp David, the presidential retreat, and has been there since. Biden, notably, did not take questions from reporters about Afghanistan before he left,” it noted.
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