Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that the United States would find a cure for cancer if he is elected president.
Biden made the promise while campaigning in Ottumwa, Iowa, on June 11.
“I’ve worked so hard in my career, that I promise you, if I’m elected president you’re gonna see single most important thing that changes America, we’re gonna cure cancer,” Biden told the crowd, reported the right-leaning Washington Examiner.
The crowd responded by applauding.
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) June 11, 2019
Biden was head of the Biden Cancer Initiative from the time he left office in 2017 until he recently announced his campaign for president and while in office in 2016 was head of the “Cancer Moonshot” program.
The initiative “is a response to the lack of a cohesive, comprehensive and timely approach to cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research, and care,” the website states.
“Fueled by urgency, we stand on behalf of every patient, every family, every community having to deal with a cancer diagnosis and the complex and confusing maze they must navigate thereafter. We are an independent nonprofit organization that builds on the Cancer Moonshot’s goals and grounded on Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden’s firm commitment to ending cancer as we know it,” it says.
According to the White House archives, the “Cancer Moonshot” program was “a new national effort to end cancer as we know it.”
“Here’s the ultimate goal: To make a decade’s worth of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, in five years. Getting it done isn’t just going to take the best and brightest across the medical, research, and data communities—but millions of Americans owning a stake of it,” the White House said after President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union speech.
Biden had told the audience that it’s difficult to lose a family member.
People tell a person who lost a loved one that “I know how you feel” when they actually have “no idea how I feel,” Biden said just before promising to cure cancer.
Biden’s son, Beau Biden, died in 2015 after battling brain cancer.
Biden previously criticized President Donald Trump over the moonshot program, claiming he’d requested the new administration continue its work.
“What happened was we did a lot of good work with your help on the Moonshot,” Biden said during a speech in Washington in April. “And when we left, I went to this administration and said, ‘You can do a lot. Move.’ But it wasn’t their priority at the time.”
Biden added about researching cancer: “We can, must and are able to do something about it. It’s within our power.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, over one million cases of cancer are diagnosed in the country every year.
An estimated 1.7 million cases were going to be diagnosed in 2018, the institute said, and 609,640 were estimated to be killed from the disease that year.
“The most common cancers (listed in descending order according to estimated new cases in 2018) are breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, melanoma of the skin, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney and renal pelvis cancer, endometrial cancer, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, and liver cancer,” it said.
“In 2016, there were an estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. The number of cancer survivors is expected to increase to 20.3 million by 2026.”