Biden announces next steps in fight to cure cancer

President Joe Biden arrives with Vice President Kamala Harris and Lovette Jacobs, a fifth year IBEW Local 103 electrical apprentice in Boston, for a ceremony where Biden will sign H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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UPDATED 1:05 PM PT – Tuesday, September 13, 2022

While speaking at Boston’s JFK Library on Monday, Biden gave an update on his administration’s campaign promise to find a cure for cancer. He announced that his goal is to cut cancer death rates by at least 50 percent within the next 25 years.

During his speech, Biden attempted to rally Americans behind this battle by comparing it to President John F. Kennedy’s race to beat communists to the moon. For Biden, this vow is a personal one after he lost his son Beau Biden to brain cancer in 2015.

“In February, I laid out our plan that is bold, ambitious, and, I might add, completely doable,” Biden said. “The goal is to cut cancer death rates by at least 50%, at least 50% in the next 25 years. To turn more cancers from death sentences into chronic diseases people can live with, to create more supportive experience for patients and families, and update, update our fight against the cancer.”

Part of Biden’s plan is to assign biologist and former government scientist Doctor Renee Wegrzyn to be the Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health or ARPA-H. The ARPA-H was established earlier this year in March and is being tasked with studying potential treatments or cures for cancer.

The Democrat also announced a new scholars program to provide resources to early career scientists studying the disease.

“ARPA-H will have the singular purpose to drive breakthroughs to prevent, detect and treat diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases and enable us to live healthier lives,” Biden said.

Additionally, Biden announced the signing of a new executive order directing the federal government to ensure the technology needed for such studies is built here in the United States. However, the Democrat did not elaborate on how he would uphold this order.

“But it’s not enough to invent technologies to save lives. We need to manufacture advanced biotechnologies here in the United States,” Biden stated. “That’s why today I signed an executive order that directs the federal government to ensure biotechnology is invented in the United States of America, are made in the United States of America.”

Despite this, what could’ve been considered a speech which delivered on his promise to be a ‘great unifier,’ quickly turned into political theater. Biden reverted to Democrat talking points about so-called inequities in the country’s healthcare system which supposedly bars non-white, the disabled and LGBTQ individuals from affording medical treatment.

“It’s a disease we often diagnose too late and have too few ways to prevent it in the first place, where there are stark inequities based on race, disability, zip code, sexual orientation, gender identity and other factors,” Biden said.

In the meantime, over 250 cancer research programs have been established since 2017.

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