On trip to Texas, Biden calls for more health care for vets – WAVY.com

FILE – President Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office of the White House, March 4, 2022, in Washington. Biden’s Tuesday trip to Fort Worth, Texas is personal. It’s an opportunity to talk with veterans and their caregivers and to ask for more help for service members who are facing health issues after being exposed to fireplaces. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s Tuesday trip to Fort Worth, Texas, is personal — a chance to speak with veterans and their caregivers and to ask for more help for members of the military who are coping. to health problems after being exposed to combustion sources.

In his State of the Union address last week, Biden raised the question of whether the proximity of chemicals from fires in Iraq resulted in the death of his son, Beau.

“We don’t know for sure if a hotbed was the cause of his brain cancer or the illnesses of so many of our soldiers,” Biden said in his speech. “But I’m determined to find out whatever we can.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Biden would travel to Texas with Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough. They will tour the VA Clinic in Fort Worth, with remarks to follow at the Tarrant County Resource Connection on “expanding access to health care and benefits for veterans impacted by exposure to harmful substances, toxins and other environmental hazards, including those from burn pits.”

Biden will also ask Congress to send him a bill that protects veterans who face health consequences after exposure to a fire pit. The House on Thursday passed a bill that would provide VA health care to millions of Iraqi and Afghan veterans who meet those criteria.

Biden’s son Beau was a major in an Army National Guard unit that deployed to Iraq in 2008. The two-term Delaware attorney general was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013 and is died two years later.

It is difficult to link toxic exposure to the health status of a specific individual. The concentration of toxic materials is often well below the levels necessary for immediate poisoning. Still, the VA’s Hazardous Materials Exposure website, along with scientists and doctors, say military personnel face risks and dangers after being exposed to contaminants.

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