WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The surprise prisoner exchange that led to Trevor Reed’s release from Russia last week has brought hope to the families of other captives. Those families rallied outside the White House on Wednesday, calling on the Biden administration to do more to bring their loved ones home.
“He’s recovering at Fort Sam Houston,” said Joey Reed, Trevor’s father.
Joey said it’s been one week since he welcomed his son back home to Texas after nearly three years in Russian custody.
“He wanted to be here today,” Joey said. “He’s extremely upset about Paul Whelan, a fellow marine being left behind.”
Joey joined Whelan’s sister, Elizabeth, and the families of over nine other American captives outside the White House.
“I call on the administration to meet with us all, to use every tool at their disposal and reunite our families,” said Elizabeth.
In 2018, Whelan was detained in Russia on charges of espionage. Elizabeth said her brother’s health is getting worse by the day.
“He is surviving life in a forced labor camp in the middle of nowhere in Russia,” Elizabeth said.
“Hardly getting proper food — often being put into solitary confinement,” she continued.
Elizabeth hopes Trevor’s release will bring attention to all the other Americans imprisoned overseas, including WNBA star Brittney Griner, who the U.S. now classifies as being “wrongfully detained ” by the Russian government.
“The Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Ambassador Carstens — he will go anywhere. He will talk to anyone if it means that we’re able to come home with an American,” said state department spokesperson Ned Price.
Price said Whelan and Griner’s cases remain a top priority. The U.S. is actively negotiating their safe return.