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In his first visit since entering the White House as Commander in Chief, President Biden spent Friday afternoon with wounded servicemen at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Biden spent about an hour at the hospital located outside of Washington, D.C. where he visited with five wounded service members receiving treatment at the facility, before then touring the coronavirus vaccine distribution center.
The trip marked the first time Biden has been to the medical center as president, but he is no stranger to the facility, having spent nearly six months there as a patient in 1988.
Biden later spent time at the medical center visiting his son Beau Biden, who served as a major in the Delaware Army National Guard and died at Walter Reed in 2015 after battling brain cancer.
Biden met with two officials from the hospital who he greeted him for several minutes before his tour, thanking them for the care they showed his son.
“You took care of him in his final days, with great grace and dignity,” Biden said. Adding, “It’s an honor to be back.”
Biden later chatted with and thanked service members working at the site’s vaccine distribution center on the hospital’s indoor basketball courts.
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Before leaving the White House Friday, the president reflected on his many years of visiting Walter Reed while he was vice president in the Obama administration.
“I’ve been at Walter Reed a lot,” Biden told reporters from the South Lawn. “As vice president, every single Christmas, we spent all of Christmas Day at Walter Reed. These kids are amazing.”
Democratic leadership in the House and Senate are looking at pushing through budget reconciliation in order to get the next coronavirus relief package passed without having to get GOP support.
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Biden suggested he supports the move, saying he would like to see the package passed with “support from Republicans if we can get it.
“But the relief has to pass,” he added. “No ifs and or buts.”