Biden also resurrected the “Moonshot” analogy first used by M.D. Anderson to describe its vast initiative to cure cancer:
“And I believe that we need a moon shot in this country to cure cancer. It’s personal. But I know we can do this. The president and I have already been working hard on increasing funding for research and development, because there are so many breakthroughs just on the horizon in science and medicine, the things that are just about to happen. And we can make them real with an absolute national commitment to end cancer, as we know it today.”
He added that “If I could be anything, I’d have wanted to be the president who ended cancer. Because I believe it’s possible.”
On several occasions here at HealthNewsReview.org we’ve issued cautions about making such flamboyant, unsubstantiated promises when talking about cancer cures. The president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center made a similar claim earlier this year. Steve Miles, MD, offered a caution then that applies to Biden’s claim as well. Making these types of claims “exploits fear, generates marketing stampedes that run roughshod over deliberate research and somehow manages to draw money into those who claim to not be in it for the money.” Miles is professor of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Bioethics.
We hope health and political reporters don’t pile on with hype as they did when M.D. Anderson announced its cancer “Moonshot.”
Kathlyn Stone is an associate editor with HealthNewsReview.org.