Joe Biden’s heartwarming eulogy of John McCain shows us politics at its best.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

“My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democrat and I love John McCain.”

Today, the family of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) held services in his honor in his home state of Arizona. It was part of a four day series of events that will reach its zenith on Saturday when former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush eulogize the “maverick” who both challenged them in presidential elections.

But on Thursday, it was time for former Vice President (and senator) Joe Biden to honor the man he called his “brother” along with 20 other U.S. senators, family and friends in attendance.


You can watch the full service here.

“I pray you take some comfort knowing that because you shared John with all of us your whole life, the world now shares with you the ache of John’s death,” Biden said to McCain’s family.

Biden has known more than his own share of tragedy, surviving a deadly car crash before coming to the U.S. Senate and more recently losing his son Beau to cancer.

But his eulogy to McCain was focused less on tragedy and more on what makes America so special. And it was something he said was at the very heart of who McCain was as a person.

I was thinking this week about why John’s death hit the country so hard,” Biden said. “I think it’s because they knew that John believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of America.”

Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images.

Families fight. It’s normal. But for strong families it always comes back to love and respect. McCain and Biden were like family.

"I always thought of John as a brother," Biden said. "We had a hell of a lot of family fights. We go back a long way."

Critics of McCain say he had a bad temper, something he fully admitted himself. But for Biden, the ways they came together for the country and the world greatly outweighed their personal and political differences.

“All politics is personal. It's all about trust. I trusted John with my life and I would and I think he would trust me with his,” Biden said.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Biden’s message to the country: things have changed. That doesn’t mean they can’t get better.

“The last day John was on the Senate floor, what was he fighting to do?” Biden said, talking about McCain’s instantly famous decision to give a “thumbs down” to President Trump and the Republican Party’s attempt to repeal Obamacare.

“He was fighting to restore what you call ‘regular order,’” Biden said. “Just have to treat one another again, like we used to.”

“We both loved the Senate, proudest years of my life were being a United States senator,” he said. “We both lamented, watching it change.”

“John’s story is the American story, grounded in respect and decency, basic fairness, the intolerance in the abuse of power,” Biden added.

“To paraphrase Shakespeare, we shall not see his like again.”

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Photo by munshots on Unsplash

Last May, the whole world reacted to the murder of George Floyd caught on video by a quick-thinking teenage bystander. We watched the minutes tick by as Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck. We watched Floyd tell the officers he couldn't breathe and then call out for his mother. We watched him stop talking, stop moving, stop breathing while Derek Chauvin kept on kneeling with his hand in his pocket.

While most of the attention has been on Chauvin's actions in that horrifying video, there were three other police officers involved at the scene.

Three other officers who participated in either helping hold Floyd down or watching as it happened. Three officers who witnessed their colleague murder a man in plain sight, with bystanders begging them to intervene, and doing nothing to stop it. Three officers who didn't even try to resuscitate the man who had stopped breathing right in front of them.

The accountability of those officers has been in question since Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in the George Floyd case. Now, a federal grand jury has indicted all four officers, including Chauvin, for willfully violating George Floyd's constitutional rights.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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