Politics may derail Obama’s cancer initiative
Washington—Back in January, in his State of the Union address, President Obama launched an initiative to cure cancer by the year 2020 and announced what he called the “National Cancer Moonshot” to make that happen.
The initiative was in reference to Vice President Joe Biden’s Rose Garden speech last year in which he called for a “moonshot” to cure the disease that led to the death of his son, Beau. So, President Obama put Biden in charge of the initiative.
A new White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force will lead the effort. Composed of senior administration officials, including five Cabinet secretaries, top economic advisers, and leaders of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the FDA, it held its first meeting Feb. 1.
Despite its high-level backing, securing additional funding for the program may prove difficult in an election year, and one urologic cancer expert said the goal of curing cancer by 2020 “isn’t going to happen.”