Barack Obama has channeled John Kennedy’s space race with the Russians to pledge a new “moonshot”, led by vice-president Joe Biden at “mission control”, for the United States to win a new global health race and find a cure for cancer.
“Last year, vice-president Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer,” Obama said during a standout new policy moment during his final State of the Union address on Tuesday, referencing Biden’s remarks in announcing he would not 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.
“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.” …
Inspired and led by Biden, who lost his eldest son, Beau, to brain cancer last year, the White House’s bold pledge follows the path laid forward by the vice-president when he declined to run to replace Obama in the White House.
“I’m going to spend the next 15 months in this office pushing as hard as I can to accomplish this,” Biden said from the White House Rose Garden in October. “Because I know there are Democrats and Republicans on the Hill who share our passion, our passion to silence this deadly disease.”
“If I could have been anything, I would have wanted to be the president that ended cancer,” Biden added. “Because it’s possible.”