Mar 7, 2022 - Politics

Biden's Fort Worth trip will focus on veteran health

Biden speaking at a podium
Then candidate Biden speaking at a community event in San Antonio. Photo: Daniel Carde/Getty Images

President Biden's trip Tuesday to Fort Worth will highlight support for military veterans, focusing on burn pits.

Driving the news: The White House said in a statement that Biden will speak with veterans, caregivers and survivors of the toxic practice during U.S. wars in the Middle East.

  • The president talked about toxic burn pits and his son Beau Biden's death of brain cancer during his State of the Union address last week.

What's happening: Biden will also visit a Veterans Affairs clinic in Fort Worth and receive a briefing on veteran health services before delivering remarks about "expanding access to health care and benefits for veterans affected by environmental exposures," according to the White House.

Context: Burn pits were used during the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to dispose of all manner of waste, including metal, plastics, rubber and human excrement. Exposure to the resulting toxins is associated with symptoms that include breathing difficulties, skin itching and rashes.

  • Biden said he isn't sure if his son Beau's proximity to burn pits caused his brain cancer, but promised that he's dedicated to finding out everything he can.
  • Last week the U.S. House approved a bipartisan bill that would provide veterans with expedited health care and disability payments related to illnesses caused by exposure to burn pits.

What they're saying: "The VA is pioneering new ways of linking toxic exposures to diseases, already helping more veterans get benefits," Biden said during his State of the Union.

The intrigue: During his Texas trip, Biden won't meet with the parents of Marine Trevor Reed, who has been imprisoned in Russia since 2019, according to the Dallas Morning News. In 2020, the 30-year-old Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison for allegedly assaulting a police officer, which U.S. officials have described as "absurd."

Details: Biden is expected to arrive at Fort Worth's Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base at 1pm, then travel to the VA Clinic and Tarrant County Resource Connection. He's scheduled to speak at 2:30pm.

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