By Kelly Bjornstad
As President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, advances in his capture plans, he has simultaneously been increasing the stakes on all surrounding countries hoping to slow him down. He has been increasingly aggressive with nuclear threats in televised addresses, and has reiterated he’s not afraid to make promises surrounding nuclear attacks. Putin says, as Lee Brown from the New York Post writes, “the Kremlin would ‘certainly use all the means at our disposal’ to protect the country.” President of the U.S., Joe Biden, isn’t disregarding the warnings and acknowledges the present danger. Again, the New York Post writes “President Biden publicly admitted that Putin was ‘not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.’”
In response, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has purchased over 290 million dollars worth of Nplate, a medicine combatant to the radiation sickness that follows a nuclear explosion. NBC News writes “Still, President Joe Biden warned recently that the risk of nuclear ‘Armageddon’ is at its highest since the Cuban missile crisis.” The HHS department explains that Nplate is a part of its “long-standing, ongoing efforts by the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response to better prepare the U.S. for the potential health impacts of a wide range of threats to national security.” Nplate was originally approved in 2021 by The Food and Drug Administration to treat radiation sickness, as well as excessive bleeding. But, it’s not necessarily the most seamless method of treatment. The drug must be used within 24 hours of exposure to such high levels of radiation, which would be difficult to achieve in a panic or emergency situation- distribution wise.
Though, officials are emphasizing that the purchase has no need for panic. Because if we were under an immediate, urgent threat, we’d be ordering much more medicine. The U.S. would be figuring out speedy distribution in a way that everyone would be aware of. Chris Meekins, former deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS explains “I would expect a bigger buy if this were in a response to something going on over there that requires them to both have enough for the U.S. and for giving to partners overseas.” And goes on to say “Bottom line, we are watching everything, but this shouldn’t be used as a data point to assume there is a greater threat than people anticipate,”
What people should be taking away from the recent purchase of Nplate is that we’re in no position to panic just yet, but to be attentive and aware of the U.S.’s stance with those across seas.