US President Barack Obama has said that the United States should be the country to win a new global health race and find a cure for cancer “once and for all.”
“Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer,” Obama said during his final State of the Union address on Tuesday, referencing Joe Biden’s remarks last year when he announced not to run for president.
“Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources they’ve had in over a decade,” he added.
“Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us on so many issues over the past 40 years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control. For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all,” Obama stated.
Biden launched a high-profile push last year to find a cure for cancer, which kills millions of people around the world every year, after his oldest son, Beau, died from brain cancer in May.
In October, Biden announced that he would not enter the US presidential race, saying after the death of his son he lacks the emotional energy required to put up a good fight against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Biden’s wife, Jill, said she was disappointed her husband decided not to seek the Democratic nomination. “I believed he would’ve been the best president,” she said.
In his comments on Tuesday night, Biden said his priority will be increasing public and private funds to fight cancer.
“The federal government will do everything it possibly can — through funding, targeted incentives, and increased private-sector coordination — to support research and enable progress,” Biden wrote in a blog post.
Biden compared the commitment to fighting cancer to President John F. Kennedy’s dedication to send American scientists to the moon more than five decades ago: “This is our moonshot.”
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