TOP Joe Biden White House aide TJ Ducklo was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2019.
Ducklo, who is just 32, was suspended for a week without pay after allegedly making a threat to a journalist.
When did TJ Ducklo have cancer?
In December 2019, Ducklo announced on Twitter that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
The third most common cancer in the US, lung cancer kills over 200,000 people in the country annually.
Ducklo said that he had never smoked in his life, although 90 percent of male lung cancer patients have smoked. He is three decades younger than the average man who contracts the disease.
By the time Ducklo learned the cause of the "persistent cough, night sweats, weight loss and sustained fatigue" he’d been experiencing, the cancer had metastasized to his liver, gallbladder, and bones, Cancer Health reported.
“I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I didn’t want to do anything,” Ducklo told the monthly magazine Washingtonian upon learning of his diagnosis.
“You just lay around and think about dying.”
Ducklo's tumors have shrunk significantly since undergoing treatment for his diagnosis, but he continues to battle cancer.
"I don’t know if ‘natural’ is the right word, but it is a more comfortable place for me to be in, to be fighting back,” he told The Washingtonian of his optimistic life perspective.
“Like, I am going to fight. And it’s not going to f*** me up, I’m going to f*** it up.”
Why was Ducklo suspended?
Vanity Fair published a report on February 12 alleging that Ducklo had threatened Politico reporter Tara Palmeri to try to suppress a story about his personal life, telling her: “I will destroy you.”
The magazine cited two unnamed sources for the story.
Ducklo was suspended after he reportedly made the threat to cover his relationship with another reporter.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Ducklo's conduct was “completely unacceptable.”
Psaki said while she had not spoken about the incident with Biden, Ducklo and aides “at the highest levels” of the White House’s communications team had apologized for the incident.
“No one wants anyone to feel uncomfortable, to be put in an uncomfortable position,” Psaki said.
Psaki said in a statement earlier on February 12 that Ducklo had been suspended without pay with the approval of White House chief of staff Ron Klain.
She said Ducklo “is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out” by Biden, and that Ducklo had sent the reporter in question “a personal note professing his profound regret.”
Ducklo’s personal life came under scrutiny when Politico revealed his relationship with a reporter for the news outlet Axios, Alexi McCammond.
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