The United States announced last week that it had bought $290 million worth of anti-radiation pills as part of a “long-standing program” for emergency preparedness, and not because of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s escalating nuclear war threats.
The US Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Tuesday last week that it had bought a supply of Nplate from Amgen USA Inc. The purchase was said to have been made using authority and funds provided under the 2004 Project Bioshield Act.
Nplate is a life-saving drug that treats symptoms of acute radiation syndrome (ARS), also known as radiation poisoning or radiation sickness. The illness occurs when the body is exposed to a high dose of penetrating radiation over a short period of time.
The HHS dismissed inquiries about the connection of the purchase to Putin’s threats by saying that it was “part of ongoing efforts to prepare for a wide range of threats including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and emerging infectious diseases.”
In September, Putin accused the West of “nuclear blackmail,” and said that Russia, if it feels that its territorial integrity is threatened, will retaliate using all defense methods available. Talk about the use of tactical nuclear weapons has also intensified in the last few weeks as Ukraine continues to gain ground over its invaders.
While the US has reiterated that there is no evidence that Russia is planning to launch nuclear attacks on Ukraine or its allies, President Joe Biden also recently said in a speech at a private function last Thursday that the Russian leader was not joking when he made those threats.
“We have not faced the prospect of armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis,” Biden said.
Circling back, the White House later said that the President’s remarks weren’t based on any recent intelligence. White House spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, said that there is no information that states that the Russian leader is preparing to use tactical nuclear weapons.
This statement was recently corroborated by a BBC interview with Jeremy Fleming, director of the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Fleming said that UK intelligence has not seen signs that Russia was engaged in any technical preparatory steps to launch nuclear weapons.
“It’s a visible process,” said Pavel Podvig, a Russian nuclear expert and senior research fellow at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research, in a report by The Guardian. “If it’s really rushed you are talking about hours. It will be visible and be made visible.”
Information for this briefing was found via Reuters, The Guardian, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.