The Biden administration bought $290 million worth of anti-radiation drugs this week as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to threaten the west with the U.S. of nuclear weapons.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said that the recent purchase of the drug Nplate was part of “ongoing efforts to be better prepared to save lives following radiological and nuclear emergencies.”
Nplate is a drug approved to “treat blood cell injuries that accompany acute radiation syndrome [ARS] in adult and pediatric patients,” the department said in Tuesday’s announcement.
The radiation sickness “occurs when a person’s entire body is exposed to a high dose of penetrating radiation, reaching internal organs in a matter of seconds,” the HHS added.
“Symptoms of ARS injuries include impaired blood clotting as a result of low platelet counts, which can lead to uncontrolled and life-threatening bleeding.”
HHS bought the drugs from the Thousand Oaks, California-based company Amgen. The funds for the anti-radiation drugs came from Project BioShield, a law passed in 2004 that supports companies that “develop countermeasures that are critical to national surety.”
HHD did not say how or where the drug will be distributed.
An HHS spokesperson said that the investment in the drugs is part of an ongoing project and had “not been accelerated by the situation in Ukraine.”
However, the announcement was made as President Joe Biden warned that “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden said on Thursday.