So last Thursday, upon the Vice President returning home to Delaware with his son, the Attorney General, Beau Biden, the White House released a statement on his behalf, stating as follows:
Yesterday our son Beau underwent a successful procedure. He is in great shape and is going to be discharged [Thursday] and heading home to Delaware. He will follow up with his local physicians in the coming weeks.
I said at the time that I thought, based on earlier reporting, that this successful procedure was in fact the biopsy of the mass in Beau’s brain, and thus until we hear the results, this health crisis for the junior Biden was not concluded. Commenter Puck disagreed, saying:
It’s possible the “successful procedure” was in fact the treatment. There are minimally invasive radiosurgery procedures that could have been done in that timespan in Texas, and conceivably would have constituted full treatment. It’s also possible there is no issue of cancer, but rather some type of abnormal cluster of blood vessels which might require the same kind of treatment. I know this is just speculation, but I’m willing to indulge a little.
Puck might be right. It would explain the very vague yet optimistic statement from the Vice President above and his statements on Friday in Scranton, PA:
“And I just want you all to know, since so many of you have asked me about my son, things are – it’s not only good to be here, but things are good at home in Delaware. My son Beau is fine,” he said, eliciting applause and cheers from a crowd of approximately 2,500 in the Lackawanna College student union.
The problem with these vague statements and no further comment is that Beau’s recent medical crisis and his overall medical state remains unclear at best. I’m sorry, but you don’t travel from Indiana to Chicago and then to Philly and then to the best cancer center in the country in Houston for a minor issue. Even if you are the Vice President’s son. And the Vice President does not cancel nearly his entire weekly schedule to go to Houston to sit at his son’s bedside if this were a minor issue.
Some will say that we have no right to know the details of Beau’s medical history and the specific details of this latest illness. I generally agree that medical privacy is important. With some specific exceptions, and those exceptions involve life threatening conditions and illnesses, such as cancer, heart conditions and anything involving the brain. And that is what we have here.
Let’s assume that the situation is as Puck suggests and Beau’s procedure resolved whatever issue there was. I want to know what that issue is. And yes, I have a right to know what that issue is. Yes, Beau Biden is not his father, and he has taken a much more reserved approach to politics than his father did or does. Still, he is a public figure. Not only that, he is the chief law enforcement official for our state. An official who is the subject of glowing personal profiles about how the Biden family stands up for each other. In my mind, you can’t be a public official, and in fact trade on what would normally be private (you your family’s personal story), and have a personal history and a family history of medical issues involving the brain, and demand privacy concerning your medical issues you are having.
I’m sorry, but in this case, medical privacy does not apply. It is not enough to say Beau had a successful procedure and that now he is fine. What was his condition? What was the condition that the procedure corrected? Two simple questions. We need and have a right to know what the answer to it.