The 'Only Bipartisan Thing' Left: Former VP Joe Biden Takes On Cancer

The 'Only Bipartisan Thing' Left: Former VP Joe Biden Takes On Cancer”

In his 2016 State of the Union address, former President Barack Obama tapped Biden to lead an effort to eradicate cancer as the world knows it, a project that later became known as the Cancer Moonshot initiative. "Many of you are developing technologies and innovations for purposes large and small, fun and serious, entertaining and lifesaving, that have nothing to do with cancer - but you could make a huge impact", he said. "So cancer doesn't care who you are, what your political views are, and people on both sides of the aisles have lost so many individuals close to them, so this hits home, and let's fight it, let's do something about it", Coy said.

Biden was in town to expound on his "National Cancer Moonshot" initiative launched in the waning days of his White House service he's now continuing as part of nonprofit Biden Foundation he oversees with his wife.

Biden stressed the need for collaboration across borders as well, calling cancer "dreaded" throughout the world.

For all the private-sector money that's being invested in cancer research, the bulk of it is still provided by taxpayers: "billions and billions of dollars", Biden said in a Carl Sagan-esque voice that got a laugh from the audience. "I'm confident that the new administration, once it gets organized-and I'm not being facetious-will be as enthusiastic of ending cancer as we know it", he said.

When Biden's appearance at SXSW was announced just prior to the festival's kickoff, people wondered why he wanted to talk about cancer to a ballroom full of entrepreneurs, investors, and creatives.

Jill Biden introduced "my man of action", as the crowd cheered, adding that her husband is "a man who always strives to make the seemingly impossible possible".

Biden said the idea behind the initiative, created past year by former president Barack Obama, stemmed from a conversation as they were heading to the White House Rose Garden in October 2015 to announce that Biden would not be running for president.

The desire to defeat cancer is a personal mission for Biden; his son Beau Biden died of brain cancer in May 2015 at age 46.

"Your generation could be the first generation on earth that goes through life with a completely different understanding of cancer as preventable ... instead of a death sentence ..." "Neither Jill or I, we didn't have the stomach", Biden said, referring to his wife. "So, definitely, it should be something that anyone, from whatever background they're in, should support", said Samantha Simunyu who was also at Biden's event.

He remains convinced that Democrats and Republicans will work together to fund research even if they're at odds about nearly everything else. Last year, for instance, Napster founder Sean Parker donated $250 million to create a research institute that will focus on cancer and immunotherapy.

"I'm unwilling to postpone for one day longer the things we can do now to extend people's lives and so should you be". But Biden affirmed his optimism. "We can make an enormous, enormous, enormous progress".

At the time of President Nixon's cancer initiative in 1970, Biden said, "we thought there was only one cancer".

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