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WASHINGTON — Barely five months after his son’s death from brain cancer, a bereaved Vice President Joe Biden announced to the nation he would not run for president in 2016 — and immediately pinpointed his deepest regret.

“If I could be anything, I would have wanted to be the president that ended cancer,” he said in a Rose Garden address in October 2015. “Because it’s possible.”


Biden’s announcement that he will run for president in 2020, however, has resurfaced his dream: a White House that makes cancer a signature issue, backed by a politician whose life was so publicly upended by the disease. With much of the early debate in the Democratic primary centering on health care, Biden’s stint as cancer-advocate-in-chief and orchestrator of the Obama administration’s “cancer moonshot” could give him the opportunity to make the disease, its treatments, and his own grief central to the presidential election.

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  • Chris M. Who benefits from treating those who have cancer now? Big pharma. Who is pouring money into research of treatment for those who have cancer now? Big pharma. Proof? Turn on the TV and see all the Big pharma advertisements for treatments for those who have cancer now. But Big pharma is also pouring money into reasearch for treatment of the adverse effects of the treatment for those who have cancer now. And how is Big pharma stock doing? Great. Federal government’s contribution to research for treatment of those who have cancer now is peanuts compared to Big pharma’s contribution.

  • With so many already suffering from cancer, and exorbitant costs involved, cure beats prevention. To side-track to the environment, climate change, pesticides etc does not help those suffering NOW. Accolades to Biden, he puts money where his mouth is, and is the opposite of Trump who sprinkles with one hand yet claws back with the other.

  • Cleaning up the environment is good for many things including reducing cancer and respiratory problems. The US is doing much better at cleaning up the environment than other industrial countries including China. How does Obama-Biden compare to Trump?

  • I agree with the commenter who said that the efforts against cancer should start with prevention. This should not just focus on vaccines which so far have not shown much success against cancer, but removing the carcinogenic agents from the environment. For instance, it does not make sense to allow Monsanto its continued marketing of Roundup, based on fake science and cover-up of its carcinogenic properties, while people exposed to it wind up with cancer. Similarly, the amount of pesticides on our food is another prime suspect for causing cancers, and so are the ever increasing pollutions of our air and water. It does not make sense to declare a war on cancer while allowing people to get exposed to all kinds of known and suspected carcinogens.

    • exactly right peter, too many toxic compounds allowed on the market without any honest assessments, the same is true of drugs, so we have too many people damaged and change and compensation, maybe, through the court system, instead of prevention and caution up front

    • Or said another way…the Trump administration’s budget proposes a $50 million increase for pediatric cancer research for the next fiscal year, while cutting overall funding for the National Cancer Institute by almost $900 million.

    • Talk?! The 21st Century Cures Act was authorized for $6.3 billion… Trump’s $200m over 10 years (!) is a joke, and with the cuts he proposed in his recent President’s budget, would be null and void…

  • The war on cancer has never been won, so far. It should start with prevention. HPV is a good start. It took over 35 yrs for a vaccine. Now is the time for Biden to
    support prevention as a strategy to win this ongoing war. I suggest the Herpes group of viruses known among researchers as cancer-causers. At the top of the list is Epstein-Barr virus. It causes several cancers, notably Hodgkins disease and the disfiguring Burkitts lymphoma of Africa responsible for killing millions of children. Time for a vaccine against Epstein-Barr

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