To announce an effort that will help the government, President Joe Biden is using his first veteran’s day in office. This is being done to understand, identify and treat medical conditions that are suffered by troops. These troops have been deployed in toxic environments. His son is an Iraq war veteran.
Lung problems suffered by troops who breathe in toxins are the center of the focus of this effort.
Plan To Treat Veterans’ Illnesses
According to the White House, there is a potential association between rare cancers and the amount of time spent overseas breathing poor air.
As science identifies potential new connections, federal officials plan to start examining lung and breathing problems and expand the effort too.
Biden was traveling to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Thursday to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony and deliver remarks.
Based on their symptoms, the new federal effort has also been designed to make it easy for veterans to make claims.
It has also been deployed to collect more data from troops who have been suffering and after symptoms such as asthma and sinus develop, they have been given more time to make medical claims.
Dr. Richard Meehan said that they discovered that deployment abroad was related to a whole host of lung conditions. He served in the Mideast during the 1990s and in 2008 and he is a retired US Naval Reserve Officer.
A potential link between the President’s son’s death due to aggressive brain cancer after he returned from Iraq has been hypothesized by Biden. He thinks it was due to the massive amount of toxins inhaled particularly due to the massive pits that are full of military waste that is burned.
Any scientific evidence has not backed this link.
Joe Biden said that the death of his son was a defining moment for him and that it affected his decision to sit out the presidential race in 2016.
The younger Biden was deployed as a captain in the Delaware Army National Guard from October 2008 to September 2009. He was diagnosed with a tumor in 2013 and died 2 years later at the age of 46.
Along with his colleagues, Meehan is investigating the influence of the inhalation of toxins among military personnel who have been deployed in Southwest Asia.
He said that the issue is not caused solely by those burn pits. He said that the quality of air in some countries is so bad that under civilian federal workplace guidelines, troops would not have been allowed to work there.
Along with private donors, the center receives funding from the Department of Defense.
To determine whether there is a higher rate of lung illness, troops who came back with lung issues are being compared to normal Americans, which has Meehan worried.
Compared to average Americans, those who have been deployed are much stronger, fitter and are in peak physical condition.
It is due to this that Meehan finds it highly unusual that they cannot make it up the stairs and are unable to lift anything without struggling.
Meehan said that they should be compared to another healthy, fit group when they are compared to anyone at all.
He said that in the surveys that have shown no higher incidence of cancer, that is one of the problems that have been overlooked.
Within 10 years of service, veterans can make claims under the new rules. The determination of what symptoms count and why they count and how this is done has also been changed by the government.
The health risks have been known for years.