President Joe Biden visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda on Friday during his first major trip beyond the White House since the inauguration.
Biden met active-duty soldiers and retired service members who are receiving special treatment at the facility, before visiting the vaccine distribution center there.
He said, "These kids are amazing, and thank God there are not as many people to visit." calling those at the hospital "real heroes."
Biden has a long and personal history with the hospital, which treats thousands of military service members, veterans, and their families. His son Beau served as a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, died there in 2015 after a long battle with brain cancer.
Even before Beau’s treatment at the hospital, Biden and his wife, Jill kept visiting the hospital during his tenure as vice president, celebrating Christmas Day with soldiers there.
Jill Biden focused in part on promoting awareness of issues affecting military families during that time, and on Friday she’ll again be focused on the issue as she participates in a virtual event with military-connected students.
The president is visiting the hospital after just over a week in which he signed more than three dozen executive orders, many of them reversing initiatives launched by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.
Other measures included orders addressing COVID-19, environmental regulation, and immigration policy.