WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are visiting injured U.S. troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
There are 15 Marines at the hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside Washington, who were wounded in an Aug. 26 suicide bombing at the Kabul airport.
The attack occurred as the U.S. government was arranging evacuations of Americans, Afghans and allies before the nearly two-decade war in Afghanistan officially ended Aug. 31.
Eleven Marines were also killed in the attack, as well as one Army solider and one Navy corpsman. Biden traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Sunday to witness the return of their remains to U.S. soil in a solemn “dignified transfer.”
One of the wounded Marines was in critical condition. Three were in serious condition and 11 in stable condition.
The evacuations that the U.S. troops were assisting with were addressed by Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, head of U.S. European Command, Thursday. Wolters said that so far only one individual evacuated from Afghanistan is being retained in Germany for problems getting through security screening.
Speaking to Pentagon reporters, he said that as far as he knows, the person in custody “is not of a high threat.”
Right now, he said, about 58 individuals triggered additional security checks and processing as they arrived at the way stations in Europe, and needed additional checks. But he said he expects they will all eventually be cleared.
Afghan evacuees are being flown to several locations across the Middle East and Europe, including Germany, Italy and Spain. Wolters said 155 flights have landed in Europe, with about 38,000 people. He said they go through biometric and biographical screening when they arrive, before they are shown to their sleeping quarters. They are screened again when they leave, and again when they arrive in the U.S.
He said there have been few issues with COVID-19 cases, and most of the people requiring some type of medical attention have been pregnant women.