Joe Biden Is Back and Ready to Take Down Cancer

Darin HammondMar 14, 2017

Throughout his moving hourlong speech, part of the festival's Connect to End Cancer series, the 47th vice president shared the progress made under the leadership of the White House Cancer Moonshot task force and underlined the importance of instilling "hope" and approaching cancer "with the urgency of now".

"Your government that many of you don't like is the vehicle for how this gets funded", he said. "So cancer doesn't care who you are, what your political views are, and people on both sides of the aisles have lost so many individuals close to them, so this hits home, and let's fight it, let's do something about it", Coy said.

In February, Joe and Jill Biden launched the Biden Foundation, which focuses on cancer research, as well as issues like violence against women and equality.

Obama then handed Biden the reins to lead the program meant to accelerate cancer research in America.

Biden said the innovators at SXSW were the flawless people for the task, and that the tech industry could be instrumental in helping with cancer research.

"I'm confident that the new administration, once it gets organized, and I'm not being facetious, will be as enthusiastic of ending cancer as we know it". "The more data we have, the more opportunities we'll have to unlock the secrets of cancer", Biden said. A year after President Barack Obama took the South by Southwest stage, Biden and wife Dr. Jill Biden arrived in Austin to appeal to the festival's technology entrepreneurs, developers, and engineers: "You're the future", Biden said.

"I have some of the most innovative minds in the world sitting in front of me", Biden said.

Biden said the idea behind the initiative, created a year ago by former president Barack Obama, stemmed from a conversation as they were heading to the White House Rose Garden in October 2015 to announce that Biden would not be running for president.

His one-hour speech included his vision for a time when people are provided with the right treatment and children can be vaccinated against certain types of cancers.

For now, it's vital that the Trump administration carry on the momentum he started and continue pouring money and energy into the cancer initiative, Biden said.

Biden referenced President John F. Kennedy's famous space race speech, where he called efforts to the moon something that "we are unwilling to postpone". "I would have loved to be the president who presided over the end of cancer as we know it", Biden recalled saying.

"Your generation can be the first generation on Earth that goes through life with cancer as a preventable or controllable disease as opposed to a death sentence", he said, Variety reported. Biden did, however, note that the current administration's failure to embrace the concept of global warming "frustrates" him. Addressing an audience that included techies and innovators, he pointed out how easily websites and apps had made it to buy movie tickets or cash checks at the swipe of a finger on a smartphone, then wondered why cancer patients like his son couldn't just as easily send test results from one hospital to another.

"That's not a cancer problem", Biden said. "But after 45 years of progress, after decades of funding research, training scientists and physicians [and] treating millions of patients, we now have an army".

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