Klain estimates around 100 Americans still in Afghanistan
White House chief of staff Ron Klain estimates that around 100 Americans are still left in Afghanistan waiting to be evacuated.
“We believe it’s around 100. We’re in touch with all of them who we have identified on a regular basis,” Klain said on Sunday during CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Obviously, we’re hopeful that, in the coming days, the Qataris will be able to resume air service out of Kabul. And, if they do, we’re obviously going to look to see if Americans can be part of those flights. We are going to find ways to get them — the ones that want to leave, to get them out of Afghanistan,” he added.
He said that some Americans have family members in the country and some people want to stay, but he noted that the U.S. would evacuate those who wanted to leave the country following the withdrawal last week of the final U.S. service member.
Some rescue groups told The Associated Press that they are concerned that some Americans and individuals who are considered equally worthy of being evacuated — green card holders — are missing from the U.S.’s count of people who wish to leave Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that U.S. evacuation efforts also include those who aided the U.S. government over the last 20 years and green card holders, the AP noted.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Blinken said that the department was in “constant contact” with Americans in Afghanistan still and want to leave.
“Most of the remaining American citizens are dual nationals whose home is Afghanistan and whose extended families live there. So it’s no surprise that deciding whether or not to leave the place they call home is a wrenching decision,” he noted.
In a statement to The Hill on Saturday, a State Department spokesperson said that the numbers “are dynamic and constantly changing as we scrub our data sets, update with the latest manifests, determine that U.S. citizens on our lists have already left Afghanistan, and reach out to those we believe may still be in Afghanistan.”
The spokesperson also noted that the numbers could fluctuate depending on different factors.