Biden announces plan to ID, treat vets’ ills from toxic air

Biden Veterans Day Arlington

President Joe Biden salutes as he stands with Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough and Army Maj. Gen. Allan M. Pepin during a wreath laying ceremony to commemorate Veterans Day and mark the centennial anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Arlington, Va. First lady Jill Biden is at left. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is using his first Veterans Day in office to announce an effort to better understand, identify and treat medical conditions suffered by troops deployed to toxic environments.

Biden has hypothesized about a potential link between his son Beau’s death from brain cancer after his return from Iraq and exposure to toxins in the air, particularly around massive pits where the military burns waste. There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that link.

The president’s effort announced Thursday centers on ailments with stronger scientific links — lung problems suffered by troops who breathe in toxins.

Biden participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

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