Biden makes first visit to wounded service members at Walter Reed as president

Biden makes first visit to wounded service members at Walter Reed as president
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President BidenJoe BidenMarcus Garvey's descendants call for Biden to pardon civil rights leader posthumously GOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors MORE spent Friday afternoon visiting with wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside the nation’s capital.

Biden spent about an hour at the military hospital in Bethesda, Md., visiting five wounded service members and later touring the hospital’s coronavirus vaccine site.

The trip represented the new president’s first visit to the hospital since taking office last week. Biden visited one Marine, three Army soldiers, and one member of the Army National Guard, according to the White House. 

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Biden is no stranger to Walter Reed.

The president’s late son Beau Biden, a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, was treated at Walter Reed in the weeks before his death. He died in 2015 following a battle with brain cancer.

President Biden was greeted by two officials from the hospital whom he spoke with for a few minutes and thanked them for the care they provided his son in his “final days.” 

After visiting with service members, he toured a basketball gym at the hospital that has been turned into a COVID-19 vaccine site. 

Biden also underwent surgery at Walter Reed for a brain aneurysm in 1988 when he was a senator representing Delaware.

As he departed the White House for the military hospital Friday afternoon, Biden noted that he spent a lot of time at Walter Reed, including going there every Christmas as vice president to visit with patients. He called the service members he was visiting Friday “real heroes” and said some of them were amputees.

“I’ve spent a lot of time at Walter Reed,” Biden told reporters before leaving the White House. “They’re great Americans, they’re great people.”

Earlier Friday, Biden met with economic advisers on his coronavirus relief proposal. He did not deliver remarks focused on his policy agenda and executive actions as he has each of the previous weekdays since he took office.

Biden is expected to sign more executive actions on Tuesday related to immigration.