On Thursday, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went to The White House for a visit with President Joe Biden. Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during a Monday night game against the Bengals last season, needing CPR and an automated external defibrillation on the field, before he was taken to a Cincinnati hospital. Since then, Hamlin has shown incredible progress in his recovery and received an outpour of support from the football world and beyond.
Biden commemorated the visit by tweeting out a photo with Hamlin in the Oval Office.
Biden wrote, "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 responded with a quote tweet, also saying that it was his honor to attend the meeting.
"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," Hamlin wrote, adding "#UncleJoe."
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 https://t.co/Oy7KR3Lk9E— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) March 30, 2023
The White House press office issued a statement on the meeting, noting that Hamlin has made efforts to make life-saving technologies available for more people.
"Today, the President welcomed Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin and his family to the White House," the statement said (via the Washington Examiner). "The president thanked Damar for his courage, resilience, and can-do spirit which has inspired the American people. He commended Damar for his efforts — including through legislation — to bring people together and make life-saving technologies more widely available."
Hamlin appeared with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.), speaking about a bill that would make defibrillators in public and private elementary and secondary schools more available. The technology helped save Hamlin's life and he wants to pay it forward by helping others.
Biden previously spoke with Hamlin's parents during a trip to Cincinnati, two days after the incident.
Hamlin has not been cleared to play football, but there is the possibility of him getting back on the field. NFL medical director Allen Sills has said previously that when it is time, consultants will sit down with Hamlin, his family and his agents to discuss what they know regarding his health and any risks related to going back to football.