Biden convenes bipartisan meeting on cancer research

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President Biden on Wednesday met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss investments in cancer research and treatment, a personal cause for the 46th president that he has vowed to make a priority of his administration.

“We can make significant strides in fighting cancer and Alzheimer’s and other diseases if we take a slightly different approach. And what I want to talk to them about today is how we go about taking advantage of the work they’ve done to get us where we are today,” Biden said at the top of the White House meeting.

“Because I think we’re on the cusp of some real breakthroughs across the board on cancer. And that’s what we’re going to talk about. And probably to all of you, like all of us, cancer is personal for almost everybody,” he continued. “It’s probably the one word that’s the most frightening word in the English language to people. When you hear that c-word, cancer. It is just devastating.”

Biden has long supported cancer research efforts, and has spoken at length about the personal toll the disease has taken on his family. His son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46.

Biden oversaw the Cancer Moonshot during the Obama administration, and the Biden Cancer Initiative launched in 2017 as a vehicle to bring together researchers and share data. The initiative suspended operations after Biden announced his White House bid in 2019.

Attendees at Wednesday’s meeting included Vice President Harris and lawmakers in both parties who were part of efforts to pass the 21st Century Cures Act during the Obama administration. The legislation authorized billions of dollars in funding for the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on cancer and other diseases.

Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) were in attendance, as were Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.).

Tags 21st Century Cures Act Anna Eshoo Brett Guthrie Cancer Cancer research Chris Van Hollen Diana DeGette Dick Durbin Fred Upton Joe Biden Mike Crapo NIH Patty Murray Roy Blunt
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