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Biden Gives Update On Afghanistan, COVID, Henri

President says he hasn't ruled out extending the Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2021 4:49 PM CDT
Biden Gives Update On Afghanistan, COVID, Henri
President Joe Biden speaks about the situation in Afghanistan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Sunday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – President Joe Biden held a press conference Sunday afternoon to address the ongoing evacuation in Afghanistan. He repeated his promise to bring home all Americans who want to leave, and said that the US “will welcome these Afghans who have helped us in the war effort over the last 20 years,” the New York Times reports. When asked if he was considering extending the Aug. 31 deadline for ending troop deployments, he didn’t give a firm answer, saying only “our hope is we will not have to extend,” leaving the option on the table, the Hill reports.

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  • Biden is activating the Civil Reserve Air Fleet—commercial airliners will help bring refugees from locations outside Afghanistan to the US or other safe places.
  • The perimeter has not been extended, but Biden said, without providing details, that the situation is safer.
  • Biden praised the evacuation efforts, saying “All together, we lifted approximately 11,000 people out of a couple in less than 36 hours. It’s an incredible operation.”

The president also spoke about the COVID pandemic, urging people to get vaccinated and be careful. And he shared updates on the weakening Tropical Storm Henri that has been affecting the East Coast.
(Read more President Biden stories.)

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