WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday he’s renewing an initiative to slash the nation’s cancer rates in half and is calling on the medical community, Congress and Americans to help reach that goal.
Biden called his goal of cutting cancer death rates in half over the next 25 years “ambitious, but it’s completely doable.”
He called the effort the “moonshot” program, which is a revival of the program he launched in 2016 shortly after his son Beau Biden died of glioblastoma, a type of aggressive brain cancer.
“So my plea to you scientists is share data as best you can, my plea to my members of Congress is, let’s fund this particular program and focus on it until we beat it,” Biden said.
In 2016 Congress approved $1.8 billion for the moonshot program, and Biden said Wednesday he’s hopeful the program can get bipartisan support again.
However, Democrats have struggled to get their legislative priorities through Congress, in part because Republicans are resistant to more government spending. However, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) seemed receptive to the proposal.
“Every senator wants to win the war on cancer,” he said.
The cancer-fighting program will focus on looking into new and innovative ways to fight the disease. It will also research why treatments can work for some people but not for others.
“We’ll bring a fierce sense of urgency to the fight against cancer,” Biden said.
Biden also called on Americans to get regular cancer screenings and said early detection is a key in the fight against cancer, adding that too many screenings were missed because of the ongoing pandemic.