Biden lauds Hamlin’s ‘courage’ in W.H. meeting

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin continued his tour of Washington D.C. this week, meeting with President Joe Biden on Thursday.

Biden tweeted a photo of the meeting, along with the caption, “Damar Hamlin’s courage, resilience, and spirit inspired the American people. And what’s more: he turned recovery into action — and our country is better for it. It was my honor to have him and his family here today.”

Hamlin also posted a tweet, writing, “It was a pleasure & an honor meeting you today. I know your time is precious and I wouldn’t waste a second of it! Our conversations were valuable.. #UncleJoe.” He also included his signature hands forming a heart emoji.

A statement from the White House said the conversation between the two included Biden “thanking Damar for his courage, resilience,, and can-do spirit which has inspired the American people.” He also commended Hamlin for his efforts — including through legislation — “to bring people together and making life-saving technologies more widely available.”

On Wednesday, Hamlin met with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick to help promote the bipartisan legislation “Access to AEDs,” which would increase the training and availability of automated external defibrillators on school campuses.

The NFL on Monday also announced the launch of The Smart Heart Sports Coalition, a collaboration with those groups to advocate for policies in all 50 states that will prevent fatal outcomes from sudden cardiac arrest among high school athletes. The goal of the coalition is to pass legislation on the state level and implement these policies within the next three years, and the coalition sent letters to governors of 43 states where additional policies are needed.

Hamlin, 25, has been meeting with specialists after suffering cardiac arrest during the Bills’ Jan. 2 regular-season game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The use of AED was one of the things that helped save his life. Earlier this month, Bills general manager Brandon Beane said that Hamlin “definitely has every intention to play” and that everything had checked out to that point and was “trending in the right direction.”

“We’re hopeful that he plays, but at the end of the day, that’s a decision that he’s gonna make, but we support him whether he decides to play or not,” coach Sean McDermott said this week at the NFL’s annual meetings in Phoenix.