Biden says Trump White House didn't see fighting cancer as 'priority'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Moulton enters 2020 White House race The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? MORE on Tuesday night said the Trump administration was not interested in prioritizing fighting cancer after he asked the White House to build off the work he and former President Obama began.

Biden, who is expected to jump into the Democratic presidential primary in the coming weeks, discussed reaching out to the Trump administration after the 2016 election to encourage it to expand on the 2016 national “Cancer Moonshot” initiative.

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“What happened was we did a lot of good work with your help on the Moonshot,” Biden said during a speech in Washington. “And when we left, I went to this administration and said, ‘You can do a lot. Move.’ But it wasn’t their priority at the time.”

Neither a Biden spokesperson nor the White House responded immediately to requests for comment from The Hill.

Biden has been a leading advocate of expanding funding for cancer research since he lost his son Beau to cancer at the age of 46 in 2015. He has since founded the Biden Cancer Initiative and called fighting cancer “the cause of my life.”

“We can, must and are able to do something about it. It’s within our power,” Biden said.

Biden has emerged as a staunch critic of Trump, at one point saying during the 2016 election that “if we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.”

However, his own presidential aspirations hit a snag in recent weeks after several women accused him of inappropriate touching.