President Biden on Monday pitched his “cancer moonshot” initiative as a bipartisan pursuit that should bring Americans together, comparing it to former President Kennedy’s famous “moonshot” initiative.
“Cancer does not discriminate red and blue. It doesn’t care if you’re Republican or a Democrat. Beating cancer is something we can do together, and that’s why I’m here today,” Biden said at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
His speech was delivered on the 60th anniversary of Kennedy’s “moonshot” speech at Rice University in Houston, during which he outlined his plan for the U.S. to become an international leader in space exploration.
“Unwilling to postpone, President Kennedy set a goal to win the space race against Russia and advance science and technology for all of humanity,” he said.
“Together, we can choose to move forward with unity, hope and optimism. And I believe we can usher in the same unwillingness to postpone, the same national purpose that will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, to end cancer as we know it and even cure cancers once and for all,” he added.
Biden called the initiative “bold, ambitious” and “completely doable.”
The initiative, which he relaunched in February, aims to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years and improve the lives of caregivers and cancer survivors.
Biden announced on Monday the appointment of Renee Wegrzyn as the inaugural director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, an agency created in March focused on developing biomedical technologies to improve health outcomes.
Additionally, he signed an executive order launching a national biotechnology and biomanufacturing initiative that ensures that advanced biotechnology invented in the U.S. is also manufactured in the U.S.