Families of Americans detained abroad call for urgent action from Biden to free their loved ones

There is growing frustration among the families of Americans detained abroad who feel that President Joe Biden must act to ensure the quick release of their loved ones -- some of whom have spent years imprisoned overseas -- and that not enough is being done to make those cases a priority.

This mounting anger and distress was underscored this week by the attempted suicide of Matthew Heath, a Marine veteran who has been imprisoned in Venezuela for nearly two years, as well as a "logistical error" that left detained WNBA star Brittney Griner unable to call her wife, with whom she hasn't spoken in more than 100 days, on their anniversary.

A number of family members of US hostages and detainees had initially expressed a great deal of optimism and hope when the Biden administration took office in January 2021, particularly in light of a virtual meeting held by Secretary of State Antony Blinken with the family members in early February 2021. A senior State Department official said Blinken will meet virtually again with families on Wednesday.