Shortly before he was sworn in as the nation’s 46th president, President Elect Joe Biden gave a farewell speech in Delaware in which he made heartbreaking comments about his deceased son, Beau Biden.
In that speech, he revealed that he thinks it should be Beau who is being sworn in as president; this would not have been a farfetched thought if Beau had lived. Biden’s son was the attorney general of Delaware at the time of his death and was planning a run for governor. He was also an Iraq War veteran. According to The Associated Press, he was a lawyer and a member of the Delaware National Guard. His full name was Joseph Biden III.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I only have one regret: He’s not here, because we should be introducing him as president,” said Biden, according to The New York Post.
Biden has four children; sons Beau and Hunter, and daughters Naomi and Ashley. However, both Beau and Naomi died tragically; Beau at age 46 of brain cancer and Naomi in the car crash that also killed Biden’s first wife, Neilia.
How did Beau Biden die? What was his cause of death? Biden’s son died of brain cancer. Specifically, according to PBS, Beau died from “glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form of brain cancer.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Joe Biden Says His ‘Only Regret’ is that Beau Biden Isn’t Here to See His Father Ascend to the Presidency
Biden made his comments about Beau in front of the Major Beau Biden facility.
“You’ve been there for us in the good and the bad. You’ve never walked away and I am proud, proud, proud to be a son of Delaware and I am even more proud to be standing here doing this from the Major Beau Biden facility,” he said, according to the Post.
“My only regret is that he can’t be here today,” he said of Beau.
When did Beau die? Only five years before.
According to his obituary, Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. “It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life,” Joe Biden said.
Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator John McCain and Beau Biden were afflicted with the same form of often deadly brain cancer.
The Washington Post noted that Beau Biden (as with the other two men) died from a tumor called a glioblastoma that “is an aggressive cancer that is the most common of all malignant brain tumors. About 12,400 new cases are expected in 2017.”
Beau Biden lived for couple years his 2013 diagnosis. He tried surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, reported The Washington Post.
“A glioblastoma is the most common brain tumor that affects adults. It is also the most rapidly growing malignant tumor of the brain, with the shortest survival rate,” NBC reported. “Death may occur within months.”
In 2014, USA Today noted that Biden’s health was causing concerns due to his “visible weight loss, head scar, buzz cut and low public profile.” In 2010, Beau Biden suffered a stroke from which he recovered.
Joe Biden Wonders if Beau’s Iraq War Service Played a Role
Joe Biden has questioned his son’s service in the Iraq War could have caused his brain cancer. He stopped short of saying there was a firm or scientifically proven link. However, he told PBS, “a lot higher incidence of cancer [is] coming from Iraq now and Afghanistan than in other wars” and “a lot of work is being done” to research it. He expressed concern about toxins in smoke that emanates from U.S. military bases overseas.
Joe Biden pointed out that his son served at locations with burn pits. He said the author of a book “went back and looked at Beau’s tenure as a civilian with the U.S. attorney’s office [in Kosovo] and then his year in Iraq. And he was co-located in both times near these burn pits.”
Beau’s wife Hallie later struck up a relationship with Beau’s brother Hunter, whose marriage ruptured into negative headlines.
Beau Biden Survived the Car Crash That Killed His Mother & Sister
It wasn’t the first tragedy suffered by the Biden family. First, there was the car crash. As a young boy, Beau Biden survived a fatal car crash that took the lives of his mother, Neilia Hunter Biden, and sister, Naomi, only 1. Neilia was Joe Biden’s first wife.
At the time, in 1972, Biden had just been elected to the U.S. Senate in Delaware. Sons Hunter and Beau were in the car but survived the accident. Indeed, Joe Biden would be sworn in while standing at the bedside of his sons, Beau and Hunter, who were injured in the crash.
According to Politico, the Biden vehicle was struck by a truck carrying corncobs as they journeyed to pick out a Christmas tree.
Joe Biden spoke about the loss to a group of soldiers’ families, describing how the pain made him understand why some people contemplate suicide. His second wife, Jill, and the passage of time allowed him to endure.
In the 2012 talk, Biden said, according to ABC News: “For the first time in my life, I understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide. Not because they were deranged, not because they were nuts, because they’d been to the top of the mountain and they just knew in their heart they’d never get there again, that it was … never going to be that way ever again.”