By Oisin Sweeney • 23 January 2021 • 19:46
Viral photos of the sleeping conditions have caused outcry - Image Source: Twitter
MANY politicians and commentators have expressed their anger over viral images showing troops protecting the US Capitol having to sleep in a crowded car park.
Due to security concerns surrounding the inauguration of President Joe Biden, which were heightened by shocking recent scenes in the Capitol, 25,000 National Guard troops were deployed to Washington from across the country.
Images have gone viral across American social media showing hundreds of troops who were forced to sleep in an underground car park. Alongside complaints that the guards had poor access to bathrooms and exposure to car fumes, many have decried the Covid-19 risk of housing troops in such conditions.
President Joe Biden called the leader of the National Guard Bureau to apologise for the scandal, while the First lady Jill Biden visited the troops herself and offered them biscuits from the White House. “I just wanted to come today to say thank you to all of you for keeping me and my family safe,” she told the exhausted guards.
Criticism has poured in from both sides of the political spectrum, with progressive Senator Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez tweeting that “this is not okay” while offering to give shelter to tired troops in her DC office. Meanwhile, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron de Santis told Fox News that he would be withdrawing his state’s troops from the capital.
Following the inauguration, 19,000 National Guards will be returning to their states nationwide while 7000 will remain in Washington due to the sustained threat of political violence.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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