President Joe Biden endorsed efforts to provide federal assistance to people affected by the 1945 Trinity nuclear test recently portrayed in the film Oppenheimer.
(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden endorsed efforts to provide federal assistance to people affected by the 1945 Trinity nuclear test recently portrayed in the film Oppenheimer.
“I’m prepared to help in terms of making sure that those folks are taken care of, by the way,” Biden said during a speech Wednesday in New Mexico, roughly 70 miles from the Trinity test site.
The release of the blockbuster Oppenheimer, which follows nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer’s efforts to create the atomic bomb, also drew attention to the plight of New Mexicans and Native Americans exposed to radiation from the test and mined uranium.
Those people could soon receive amends after years of suffering from health problems. The Senate-passed version of the annual defense bill would expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to include New Mexicans and members of the Navajo Nation who were left out.
New Mexico Democratic Senator Ben Ray Luján highlighted the bipartisan language, which he helped insert into the legislation, during a speech introducing Biden. Luján expressed optimism the film would improve chances of the provision passing.
“Mr. President, we’re fighting with everything that we have with members of the Senate and the House from across the country in hopes that we can keep this in the National Defense Authorization Act, and make sure these families are seen and get the help that they deserve,” Luján said.
Biden saw Oppenheimer last week with first lady Jill Biden in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
–With assistance from Gregory Korte.
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