tv President Biden on Cancer Moonshot Initiative CSPAN February 2, 2022 11:09pm-11:57pm EST
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including washington journal what we hear your voices every day, c-span now has you covered, download the app or free today. -- for free today. >> president biden is relaunching the answer moonshot program that began under the obama administration with the goal of reducing the cancer death rate by 50% over the next 25 years, he announced this latest initiative at the white house event that included remarks from the first lady and vice president harris. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the vice president of united states and second gentleman. ♪
changes everyone it touches. and in some ways, it touches us all. for joe and me, it has stolen our joy. it left us broken in our grief. but through that pain, we found purpose, strengthening our fortitude for this fight to end cancer as we know it. [applause] almost 30 years ago, four of my friends were diagnosed with breast cancer in one year. and one of my dear friends, winnie, lost her battle. winnie inspired me to take up the cause of prevention and education.
and since then, i've seen the darkness of this disease. financial devastation, confusion over care, and far too many families mourning loved ones. yet, i've also seen hope. in just this last year, i met a woman whose life was saved by determined nurses who just wouldn't let her skip her screening. i met a doctor who was inspired to become a cancer researcher because she survived her own diagnosis as a child. i've seen people come together from rival companies or opposite political parties, sharing knowledge and finding common cause, united by the chance to save lives. a cancer diagnosis today may still leave us feeling hopeless, but we are not hopeless and we
are not helpless. we are living in a golden age of research and discovery. we can end this terror, and all of us have a role to play. because this isn't just about hoping that one person will decipher the answers alone: it's about listening to patients and survivors and their families, and easing the burden they face. it's about the individual choices we can make to stop this disease before it is too late. to get screenings, to be vigilant with our health. it's about federal and state governments, the business community, and non-profit organizations all helping to make those screenings more available and accessible. it's about bringing the brightest minds and the fiercest
hearts to the table to learn and to collaborate and to discover together. yes, cancer has the power to rewrite our lives. but we have the power too more than we even know. we can stop it in its tracks. we can comfort and discover and dream our way past its paralysis. we can come together and rewrite the story that cancer tells. now, as your first lady, i'm deeply proud to be a partner in the commitments we're making to the cancer moonshot today. we're ensuring that all of our government is ready to get to work. we're going to break down the walls that hold research back. we're going to bring the best of our nation together patients,
survivors, caregivers, researchers, doctors, and advocates all of you so that we can get this done. and i want you to know that i'll be there working right beside you. so, i'm so honored to welcome all of you here to the white house today to take this next step. together, we will give americans a reason to hope. we will use this power of this white house to make your life better. and we will build a future where the word cancer forever loses its power. thank you. [applause] thanks. [applause]
now, it's my pleasure to welcome our next speaker. vice president harris knows the heartache of cancer, but she also knows how much hope can be found in our scientific community. she knows it because she saw it firsthand in her brilliant mother who dedicated her life to researching breast cancer. kamala, you honor your mom's memory every single day, but i believe she's especially proud of you today. please welcome the vice president of the united states, kamala harris. [applause]
vice president kamala harris: thank you. dr. jill biden. [applause] please have a seat. first lady dr. jill biden, president joe biden. thank you both for your incredible and long-standing leadership on an issue of national importance, yes, and of personal significance to so many of us. including me. as dr. biden said, my whole life i stood witness as my mother, a scientist, worked to and brent -- breast cancer. she taught at a public university, she worked at a national laboratory, she published groundbreaking
research she was a peer reviewer at the national institute of health, nih, and collaborated with scientists around the world including france, italy, canada. my mom's discoveries help saved women's lives. i am so proud she brought our nation and our world closer to the goal of ending rest cancer as we know it. -- breast cancer as we know it. today we are closer than we have ever been, since the turn of the century we have made significant breakthroughs. we have learned so much about therapeutics, diagnostics, public health, patient care. more people are surviving cancer. more people are enduring cancer after being diagnosed than ever before. the death rate for cancer has fallen by about 25% over the
past 20 years. in a moment our president will lay out the new goal, ambitious goals, achievable goals by our nation to end cancer as we know it. these goals are not abstract. they will transform lives. they will improve lives. they will save lives. so i said at the outset this was an issue of personal significance to so many and many. -- me. after a lifetime of working to end cancer, cancer and did my mother's life, i will never forget the day she told us that she was diagnosed with colon cancer it was one of the worst days of my life. an experience that sadly, millions and millions of people
in our country has had. my mother was a fighter, all five beat of her, you would've thought she was seven feet, she was five. as i cared for her during those many months i watched her courageous fights. after countless rounds of chemo her body gave out. she was transferred from the hospital to hospice, and one of the last questions she asked the hospice nurse, was our mike daughters going to be ok? i miss her every day and carry the memory with me wherever i go. when president biden launched his cancer moonshot five years ago i first thought of my mother , we may not have ended cancer as we know it, not then, but there is still so much work to do and we are so much closer. the president's cancer moonshot
demonstrates who our president is, because you all know, out of his personal pain, he launched an initiative, this initiative that will help countless lives. the lives of people he may never meet. this initiative also demonstrates who we are as a nation. in america, we not only dream, we do. we not only see what can be, we see where we can go in a way that we reach for the moon we plant our flag on it. it is now my honor to introduce another leader, who has worked tirelessly in the lab and the clinic and that spirit.
dr. edjah nduom, thank you. [applause] dr. edjah nduom: all these new pandemic rituals, taking your mascot at the podium, i am getting used to it. thank you vice president harris, it is an honor to be here with you and follow the path paved by your mother and all the brilliant researchers that came before whose shoulders we stand upon. thank you for your empathy, for truly understanding the pain and the promise that is this fight. i am thrilled to be able to be here to introduce someone many of us consider to be the
countries's patient advocate and chief come up president joe biden. constantly thinking of ways to treat cancer patients to fight cancer, and seating -- seeing countless patients every year, as a board member of the national brain tumor society, i can confidently say this is the most exciting moment in the history of our field. as a physician today, when seeing to -- patients with aggressive cancer like metastatic melanoma or lung cancer, i know many more them will see durable remissions. as a researcher, i know the nih has created grants targeting early and young investigators, like me, that encourage us to take risks and chart directions for our work.
as an advocate, knowing that there is a president who is throwing the full wake of the presidency behind this effort, means that even between announcements like this one, all levers of government are being pulled to create a writer future for cancer patients. this is ng moment for me personally, because i am here. as a son of immigrants who came to the united states with nothing, there was a time when i could not participate in the scientific discussion of the united states. we have a ways to go before harnessing all of the diverse talents of our country. people of every race, ability, gender, orientation. the progress that we have made means that we are constantly bringing new ideas to this challenge. i stand here as a husband to kelly, a father to joseph who is
nine, and emily who is six. to tell you that this is a moment to believe in a healthier future for all families. to believe that we can and cancer as we know it. to believe in science and to believe in america. standing firm in that belief is my honor to introduce the person charting the course ahead with vision, purpose, and so much hope. the 46th president of the united states, our advocate and chief, joe biden. [applause]
president biden: thank you, thank you, thank you. i'm joe biden, jill biden's husband. [laughter] i want to thank you, doctor, for that introduction. but i want to thank you more for all the effort you put in to change, save, alter people's lives and your dedication to it. and as we used to i used to say in the senate and i think it's still said in the senate if you excuse the point of personal privilege, i'd like to see that doctor on the end there? that's the man who spent 18 months trying to save our son's life. doctor, i love you. the whole family loves you. [applause]
folks, the doctor's optimism and fearlessness embodies what our cancer moonshot is all about. and, of course, i want to thank jill and kamala and doug. they just shared how personal it is for them and our families and like so many of you. every one of you have a story. every one of you have a story. and our message today is this: we can do this. i promise you we can do this. for all those we lost, for all those we miss, we can end cancer as we know it. i committed to this fight when i was vice president. it's one of the reasons why, quite frankly, i ran for president. let there be no doubt: now that i am president, this is a presidential white house
priority period. [applause] you know, with the bipartisan members of congress and i've i don't want to start, because i'll leave somebody out. [laughter] but, you know, congress is here. and this is, they can tell you, one of the truly bipartisan issues in the united states congress. i know there are votes, but that includes senator patrick leahy, michael bennet, amy klobuchar, chris van hollen, sanford bishop, representative joyce beatty, barbara lee, jim mcgovern, donald payne, debbie wasserman schultz, bonnie watson coleman, tom cole, brian higgins i said i wasn't going to do this [laughter]
terry sewell terry sewell. and it can be truly an american moment if it's i'm sure i've left somebody out, for which i apologize. but this can really be an american moment that proves to ourselves and, quite frankly, to the world that we can do really big things. you know, we've made enormous progress in the past 50 years since congress passed the president and president nixon signed into law the national cancer act and declared war on cancer. we learned cancer is not a single disease. we used to think, at that time, it was a single disease. there are over 200, as you all know 200 different types of cancer caused by different genetic mutations in our cells. we discovered new medicines, therapies, early detection and prevention measures that extend lives and save lives. in the first 25 years since the national cancer act, the death rate from cancer was largely unchanged. then things began to change. the progress over the last 25 years the death rate has fallen
by more than 25%. but here's the deal: despite the progress of lives extended and lives saved, cancer is still the number-two cause of death in america, second only to heart disease. in the last two years of covid-19 pandemic, it's taken more than the pandemic has taken more than 800,000 american lives. but that same period of time, cancer has claimed 1.2 million american lives year in and year out. for too many patients and their families on diagnosed with cancer, instead of hope, there's also bewilderment. remember, doc, you telling the family that you had to be able we had to be able to ask questions and you were available, because it's a hard road to understand and traverse:
the feeling of being on your own, a static adrift in a sea of patients, frustrated that hospitals and doctors can't only easily share your medical records or help find answers when there's minutes count. having to advocate for even the most basic care and attention for your loved one. a flood of information. a completely different language, in many cases with no one to help you decipher it. being within reach of therapy a therapy that's too expensive or your insurance won't cover it. despite all the progress, there's still a sense of powerlessness, guilt that maybe you're not doing enough because you don't know enough, and fear.
so, when president obama asked me to launch our cancer moonshot in our administration, our goal was to bring a new sense of urgency to make the system of prevention, research, and patient care to take advantage of the 21st century science and technology. we began the process. many of you in this room were a part of that. we harnessed the resources of the federal government to change the culture, increase cooperation among scientists, and break down some of the silos. i'd note, parenthetically i remember i wanted to transfer a particular scan from a hospital in pennsylvania to a hospital in d.c., and i was told they couldn't do it wasn't able to do it. could transfer just about
anything else in the world, but they couldn't do it because the hospitals didn't want the other hospitals to have access to their because the patients could change their mind with all the records. that included everything from making federally funded cancer research more accessible to the public, instead of hiding behind a paywall. we launched trials.cancer.gov so everyone can look up cancer clinical trials across the country and around the world. i traveled the country, bringing together leaders of healthcare, technology, education, business, and technology. i visited most of the major cancer centers, literally, in the world. met with heads of state in those countries: and decided how we could work together to try to make progress. i remember a particularly good meeting in australia. one of the final pieces of legislation that president obama signed into law was the bipartisan 21st century cures
act with the help of members of congress, particularly i don't know if is fred upton here? fred, are you here? well, fred upton was part of it and diana degette in the house. it streamlined the food and drug administration - the fda so that new cancer treatments can be evaluated faster. it provided seven years of new funding, including research on cancer disparities, trial networks to discover new drugs, and new efforts for childhood cancer. the president of the senate as president of the senate, i presided over the overwhelming vote, after the election had already taken place the presidential election when everything is supposed to come to a screeching halt a bipartisan vote to fund over $6 billion. and i watched my friend and he is my friend: we disagree a lot
mitch mcconnell stand there and ask unanimous consent to name the cancer provisions after our son beau. the cancer moonshot brought the country and the world closer together on this issue. and when we left office, jill and i knew we had to keep it going. so, we took and a lot of you we had five nobel laureates and others who were involved, through the cancer the biden cancer initiative. we focused on turning the moonshot into a movement to create the cancer research and care system that most people think we already have and that they all deserve, but they don't know they don't we don't have it until they try to deal with it. and everywhere we'd go, people would share their stories in grocery stores, airports, rope lines. and while we heard stories of loss and despair, the stories began to change just a little bit a change of feeling, real hope.
but not because of me and jill, but because of all of you in this room and so many more at home. doctors, researchers, advocates, caregivers, patients, survivors. and that's why, today, i'm proud to announce our plan to supercharge the cancer moonshot as a central effort of the biden-harris administration. it's bold. it's ambitious. but it's completely doable. just as we harnessed the science to develop cutting-edge covid-19 vaccines and treatments, we'll bring a fierce sense of urgency to the fight against cancer. the goal is to cut the cancer death rate in half in the next 25 years at least by 50% and to turn more cancers from death sentences into chronic diseases that people can live with. to create a more supportive experience for patients and
their families. by doing these things and more, to end cancer as we know it. and here's what we're fighting and how we know what cancer looks like today. a disease where we often diagnose it too late and we have too few effective ways to prevent it. the stark inequities based on race, disparity, zip code, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors still persist. and we know too little about why treatments work in some patients and the exact same that same patient with the exact same diagnosed cancer, it doesn't work in that patient. where we still lack strategies to develop treatments for some cancers. where we don't do enough to help patients and their families navigate through the process. where we don't learn enough from patients' experience experiences or their data. in fact, when we first started
this work, one of the first things we did was make sure that doctors and researchers work together, share information, allow patients to share their data with other doctors and researchers to help others. but there's so much more to do. i remember when we were going through this in the moonshot, and my saying that i was told that well, patients don't want to share their data. they all want to share their data. [laughter] sometimes you all don't want to share what you know. and for each -- [applause] and for each of the ways we know cancer today, we know we can change its trajectory. for example, to prevent cancer, scientists are exploring if the new mrna vaccine technology that brought us safe and effective covid-19 vaccines could also be
used to stop cancer cells when they fail when they first arise, get them then. to target the right treatments to the right patients, we're learning more about how to use genetics, immune response, and other factors to tell which combinations of treatments that are likely to work best for a particular individual. to address inequities, we can target prevention, detection, and treatment efforts so that all americans whether they're urban, rural, or tribal communities have equal access to cancer diagnostics, therapeutics, clinical trials. there's so much more we can do. and as i said at the beginning, this is a presidential priority. i will do my part on funding and using my authorities as president to break logjams and speed breakthroughs. i challenge and encourage all of you all of you to continue to do your part. this will be bipartisan.
this will bring the country together and, quite frankly, other nations as well. here are some of the actions that i'm announcing today: first, i've formed a new cancer cabinet, which is convened in the com- we will convene in the coming weeks, to include members of the cabinet who are here today all of the people sitting on the stage here. they'll drive a whole-of-government effort to unleash every possibility within our within our power, within their jurisdictions. the white house office of science and technology policy, led by senior scientist and advisor, dr. eric lander sitting on the end there will chart the path for the cancer moonshot for 2022 and beyond. and i'm calling on congress to fund my proposed arpa-h the advanced research projects agency for health. this will be a new kind of entity within the national institute of health the nih with autonomy and authorities to
drive unprecedented progress in biomedicine. it's based on darpa. most everybody knows, in this town, what darpa is. that's the defense department's advanced research project agency that has led to breakthrough technologies that protect our national security from the internet, to gps, and so much more. arpa-h will have a singular purpose: to drive breakthroughs to prevent, detect, and treat diseases, including cancer, alzheimer's, and diabetes, and other diseases. and i think there's strong bipartisan support for this, but it costs money. and it's the best these are the best dollars we could spend. so, we've got to get it done, and we got to get it done now and not wait any longer. i'm also calling on the scientific and medical communities to bring the boldest thinking to this fight. i'm calling on the private sector to develop and test new treatments, make drugs more
affordable, and share more data and knowledge that can inform the public and benefit every company's research. and i'm respectfully calling on people living with cancer and caregivers and families to keep sharing their experience and pushing for progress. you'll have a voice and a seat at the table, i promise you. and here's one thing we can all do. americans have missed more than 900 9 million cancer screenings in the last two years because of covid. nine million. we have to get cancer screenings back on track and make sure that they are accessible to all americans. so, today, i'm announcing a call to action for cancer screening and early detection. if you were supposed to get a cancer screening during the pandemic, call your primary care doctor today. if you're that doctor, talk to your patients.
get a screening scheduled, whether it's in the office, at home, or through a telehealth visit. because the affordable care act now will cover most private insurance plans, as well as medicare and medicaid, to cover the recommended preventive care screenings free of charge. i'm calling on companies, healthcare providers, non-profits, and others to step up, including developing mobile units and pop-up clinics to reach people where they live. and if you're putting off a screening because you're afraid of what you'll find they'll find let me say this and so many people are put it off: last november, i got a colon cancer screening. i'm glad i did. trust me, i know cancer is scary. going to the doctor's can be scary. but screening is how you catch it early, before it's too late. the earlier you get it, the better shot you have.
let me close with this. there's a quote that when i made one of these speeches, years ago five, six years ago attributed it was attributed to yo-yo ma. i later was informed it was attributed to vince lombardi. [laughter] but whoever the hell gave the quote -- [laughter] it makes sense. here's the quote, practice makes permanent. only perfect practice makes perfect. my challenge to everyone involved in this fight against cancer. take a hard look at your practice. ask yourself, are you practicing perfectly or am i practicing to make the old way permanent? old practices created data silos, minimized the role of patients, fostered the wrong kind of competition instead of the right kind of collaboration. and i know we can get this right i'm positive we can by not
losing sight of the ultimate goal. the patient's health. and by not losing sight of something else i also leave. america is the single place on earth single country that can be defined, as i told xi jinping, by one word, possibilities. possibilities. when we work together in america, there is nothing nothing beyond our capacity. nothing. so, let's show the world what's possible. let's show the world that we're committed. let's show that we can do big things that in the united states of america, when we work together, there's nothing beyond our grasp i mean nothing beyond our grasp. and i know of nothing, as i think my colleagues would say, that's more bipartisan than take
on this fight and fundamentally change cancer as we know it. it's a mission that can truly unify the nation, that shows us at our best, working together, and rather than working against one another. for every patient asking for one more day i remember i've met i met with over 3,000 researchers in the various organizations, and they're good. they're devoting their whole lives to try to save them. and they work really long hours, but they're not practitioners. they've not had that patient come up and say, doc, can you give me just two more weeks so i can see my daughter married. doc, all i need can you do anything to give me just six more months to see the baby born. that's all i'm asking for, doc.
there's a sense of overwhelming urgency overwhelming urgency if you're patient or a family member of a patient. every patient asking just for one more day. they are not asking to cure me. one more day. one more week. can i get another year to be able to do boom. for survivors and caregivers who carry the physical and mental scars of treatments and recovery, and for those who have lost, and for the ones we can save. let's end cancer as we know it. i refuse to believe i refuse to believe this is beyond our capacity. i refuse to believe it. you know, when i put together the cancer moonshot, i was vice president, and the president gave me authority to task anyone in the administration.
and when they found out i had the department of energy and ernie moniz, when they found out i had nasa and a lot of other agencies, they looked at me like, what's the matter with you? i said, guess what? nasa knows more about radiation than all of you. [laughter] seriously. and ernie moniz we were at a place where you got a billion, billion calculations per second. and it goes on. skills people never thought would impact on this can do it. so, my plea to you scientists is, share data as best you can. my plea to my members in congress is, let's fund this particular program and focus on it until we beat it. and to the american people: keep the hope alive. there is hope. there is hope.
and i'm confident absolutely confident if we make all our effort to deal with it, we can make fundamental changes in people's lives and change the families in this country in a much better position than they are today with regard to cancer. thank you all for being here. i appreciate it. [applause] [no audio]
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