FORT WORTH, Texas — President Joe Biden on Tuesday made a presidential visit to the Fort Worth VA Clinic in southeast Fort Worth.
The President made the trip to the clinic "to speak with veterans, caregivers, and survivors about addressing the health effects of environmental exposures such as burn pits," according to a release from the White House on Monday.
At the VA Clinic, Biden was briefed on the veterans' primary care and specialty health services.
He then planned to deliver remarks at the nearby Tarrant County Resource Connection about "expanding access to health care and benefits for veterans effected by environmental exposures," according to the White House.
Burn pits - which were used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan to dispose of tires, batteries, medical waste and other materials - have been a recent focus of Biden.
Ahead of Biden taking the stage at the VA Tuesday, Veteran Affairs Secretary Dennis McDonough acknowledged the VA's long failure to recognize the deadly symptoms of burn pits.
"Victims haven’t gotten benefits and care they’ve earned," said McDonough.
The VA wants to add at least nine respiratory cancers to the list of sicknesses that the VA will treat.
In his State of the Union speech last week, Biden said his son, Beau, who died of cancer, may have been among the many veterans who suffered from toxic exposure injuries from the burn pits.
Also last week, the U.S. House approved a bill that would dramatically boost health care services and disability benefits for veterans who were exposed to the burn pits.
If passed into law, it would increase spending by more than $300 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
When Biden took the stage, he too acknowledged that veterans deserved to be treated with more dignity and they "shouldn't have to have for a damn thing."
More than 1.4 million veterans live in Texas.
“Veterans are the backbone and spine and sinew of our country,” said Biden.
Biden was expected to arrive at Fort Worth's Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base around 1:45 p.m., before making the trip to the VA Clinic and Tarrant County Resource Connection, where he was scheduled to speak around 3:30 p.m.
It wasn't yet clear how Biden's motorcade will impact traffic in the area. The Joint Reserve Base is located in west Fort Worth and the VA Clinic is in southwest Fort Worth, near Southeast Loop 820 and Interstate 35W.
Listen to this week's episode of Y'all-itics about one veteran's experience with burn pits: