THE US has spent an estimated $161.5million dollars keeping accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed alive in Guantanamo Bay.
The prisoner, who admitted to being involved in the execution of the September 11 attacks, has been at the Cuba prison since his capture in 2003.
Mohammed's death penalty trial was set to begin on January 11, but the date was pushed back due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.
Earlier this week, Joe Biden's administration announced that they would send Covid vaccines to the prisoners at Guantanamo, a move that was intended to resume trials that had been delayed due to the pandemic.
The plan, however, was met with a huge amount of backlash, as the prison holds terror suspects, and most Americans are not eligible to get the vaccine at this time.
According to the latest data, about 29.5million Americans have received their first dose of the vaccine. About 5.2million have received the two doses needed for the jab to be most effective.
On Saturday, the Defense Department announced they would halt the plan to vaccinate Guantanamo prisoners.
"No Guantanamo detainees have been vaccinated. We're pausing the plan to move forward, as we review protocols. We remain committed to our obligations to keep our troops safe," Defense Department press secretary John Kirby tweeted.
It's unclear, at this time, when Mohammad's death penalty trial will be held.
Since he has been in Guantanamo for 17 years, estimates on how much it has cost American taxpayers to keep him alive are around 161.5million.
The federal government is estimated to spend between 9.5 and 13million per Guantanamo prisoner per year, according to Fox News.
Guantanamo has reportedly cost Americans around $6billion to run since its inception in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
About 770 foreign prisoners have been held at Guantanamo over the past 18 years, but the prison population is now just 40 men.
Multiple administrations have said they want to shut the prison down, yet it remains open to this day.
The Obama administration was blocked by Congress from moving the 40 prisoners into the country, as lawmakers couldn't agree on moving terror suspects to US soil.
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