Speaking from the White House, Biden said the ultimate goal is ending a disease that kills more than 600,000 people a year in the United States along with reducing the death rate by 50 percent and improving the experiences of patients and their families.
“We can end cancer as we know it,” Biden said. “This is a presidential White House priority.”
The President also announced a campaign to get more people screened for cancer after it was revealed the Covid-19 pandemic saw millions of Americans skipping their yearly exams. Biden had a routine colonoscopy back in November.
The fight to find a cure for cancer is personal for Biden, who lost his son Beau in 2015 to brain cancer.
“Despite all the progress, there’s still a sense of powerlessness,” Biden said. “Guilt that maybe you’re not doing enough because you don’t know enough.”
Biden said another portion of Cancer Moonshot’s goal would be to help people diagnosed with cancer get through the process of treatment information and the mounting debt that has been a burden for so many families.
The Cancer Moonshot was put in place during former President Barack Obama’s last year in office and Biden oversaw it. he later founded the Biden Cancer Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer prevention and research.
The Biden Cancer Initiative closed in 2019 after Biden announced his White House bid.
“It’s bold, it’s ambitious, but it’s completely doable,” Biden said.
Biden announced two new White House positions called Cancer Moonshot coordinator as well as a “Cancer Cabinet”, which will include programs with the departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, and Energy, in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency.