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Guest column: Was Beau Biden's cancer tied to burn pits?

Denise Williams | 6/8/2015, 9:39 a.m.
Although there has been no official confirmation, many believe Beau Biden's brain cancer may have been the result of his ...
Beau Biden (left), son of Vice President Joe Biden, lost his battle with brain cancer and was buried in Delaware Saturday.

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Denise Williams

This guest column was written by Denise Williams, a Plainfield resident and Gold Star mother who writes a blog, "Uncommon Sense," for chicagonow.com.

The exact type of brain cancer that took life of Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, has not been publicly named. But from the reported timeline of his illness and other known factors, some claim it was most likely Glioblastoma Mutliforme, an incredibly aggressive cancer believed to be on the rise, particularly among those with exposure to burn pits, such as the one at Camp Victory in Iraq.

The biggest reason this increase is believed to be on the rise and not proven is due to the alleged intentional hiding of data on the part of the Veterans Administration.

Some say the proof that Beau Biden’s brain cancer was related to his military service is the fact that he was admitted to Walter Reed for treatment. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., is the nation’s premier facility for the care of active and retired personnel.

There are reports of several classified studies being done there on brain and other cancers related to exposure to burn pits. The reason these studies are classified is the VA is desperately trying to deny any causative link between previously rare and aggressive cancers and service at bases where burn pits were used.

It is a curiosity that the White House has not countered the accusation that the son of the vice president received special treatment an ordinary civilian would not, even one with presumably the best insurance money can buy. There hasn’t even been push back trying to claim Biden is entitled to care at a military hospital because of his military service. Perhaps that is because one doesn’t get treatment at a military hospital unless you are either active duty or retired military, which he was not.

The closest to an answer we get is from Walter Reed spokeswoman Sandy Dean, who said the hospital “…often admits individuals as a matter of security precaution,” referring to the need for higher security required in anticipation of frequent visits of Vice President Biden.

This argument seems specious at best as George Washington University Hospital has been the treatment center of choice for presidents and certainly is accustomed to and practiced at the security precautions necessary to care for the president of the United States.

The location of Walter Reed can't be the reason Biden was admitted there either. George Washington University Hospital is five minutes from the vice president’s residence on the White House grounds, and that is for normal drivers. In a motorcade with Secret Service escort, stop lights and traffic would make the trip no more than two or three minutes.

Walter Reed, on the other hand is more than 20 miles away. Even in a helicopter, it would take more than two or three minutes.

Whatever the reason for Beau Biden’s admittance and treatment at Walter Reed, the speculation continues that Biden’s cancer was related to exposure to the burn pits of Camp Victory. Further, the speculation is that while the VA is working very hard to find ways to deny care to those exposed, medical science, even within the military, is working on treatments for these cancers which are no longer so rare, at least among veterans of our most recent and current wars.