Biden on the Record: Recovery Act and Rural America

I apologize for being a little late getting out of the car — as I was getting out of the car, the President called me from Europe, from the G20 meeting to discuss another matter. He said, “Joe, where are you?” (Laughter.) He wanted to know whether I was working, you know? (Laughter.) He said, “Joe, where are you? Where did I get you?” “Well,” I said, “I’m in eastern North Carolina.” He said, “We won there, didn’t we?” (Laughter.) No, actually, that’s not what he said. He said, “Tell everybody I said hello.” And then he asked me in detail what I was doing. I said, “Mr. President, is that why you called?” He said, “No, no, no, no, I want to talk to you about something else. I want to talk to you about something else.”

So ladies and gentlemen, I think there’s only one other subject I could talk to you about that may be of more interest to you, and that’s the Tar Heels. (Laughter.) But I’m not going to do that, except to say I wish you all luck. And just if you get to Villanova, my wife’s alma mater, just be easy, okay? (Laughter.)

Anyway, thank you all so much. Doc, thank you. And by the way, speaking of Docs, come here Doc. (Laughter.)

DR. BOUNDS: — to look up to. (Laughter.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: This man has been practicing medicine for at least two or three years. (Laughter.) And I walked into one of the examining rooms, and he was there — yes, and you’ve been here 17 years, right? I apologize, your first name?

MS. AIDES: Lauren Aides (phonetic).

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Lauren was in there with him. And there was a patient there. And I started to ask the Doc about what he needed here. And he said, what we need is we need some more personnel. We need a little — it’s kind of strapped now. We need a little more help, more docs, et cetera, more nurses — which you’re going to get with this.

And I turned — and I turned to the patient and I said, “Well, you know, Doc, she said 17 years.” And I said, “He’s been treating you right here in this place?” She said, “No, but other places.” And she said, “And where he goes, I go.” (Laughter.)

Well, let me just say one thing to you all, because I think it’s interesting. National studies show that people treated at health clinics, 85 percent of them have a personal relationship with someone they believe to be their family doctor. They know that person by name, and they have a relationship. When you ask that question generally, nationwide, only 35 percent of the American people can identify their doctor, and that they have a relationship with the doctor.

So, Doc, as my mother would say, you’re doing God’s work, man. Thanks for everything. (Applause.)

DR. BOUNDS: Thank you. for everything. (Applause.)

(Source: White House)

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