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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: President Biden Is Making Progress on Cancer Moonshot

September 13, 2022

Yesterday, on the 60th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's Moonshot speech President Biden detailed his vision for another American moonshot: ending cancer as we know it. Cancer not only afflicts Democrats and Republicans, but all Americans. When we come together as a nation around ideas that unite us – like fighting cancer – we can show the world that anything is possible. The President announced the inaugural director for a new biomedical health agency, signed an executive order to strengthen U.S. biotechnology and biomanufacturing, and outlined progress his Cancer Cabinet is delivering on.

See below for what they are saying:

Members of Congress

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: "Nearly every family in America suffers the pain and loss from a difficult cancer diagnosis. Led by Rep. @Eshoo4Congress, House Democrats delivered help, advancing President Biden's Cancer Moonshot with ARPA-H, a new agency focusing on curing the deadliest cancers. -NP" [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin: "I support @POTUS' initiative to invest in the cancer research needed to #EndCancerAsWeKnowIt!" [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Washington Senator Patty Murray: "The GOP's cruel, dangerous laws are forcing doctors to delay treatment for cancer patients and making it harder for women to get the health care they need. The GOP agenda is putting everyone at risk." [Tweet, 09/12/22]

California Senator Dianne Feinstein: "Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement supporting President Biden and his administration on their commitment to finding a cure for cancer:

"Cancer kills more than half a million Americans each year. It touches us all. I've lost two husbands and many friends to this terrible disease, which is why I so strongly support President Biden's devotion to finding a cure.

"The United States has long been at the forefront of medical innovation and scientific discovery. President Biden's cancer moonshot is another opportunity to show the world our strength and resolve by finally eradicating the 100-plus illnesses we call cancer.

"President Biden took several key actions today. He announced the first director of ARPA-H, a new federal agency driving biomedical innovation. He signed an executive order launching a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative to support cutting-edge biotechnologies. And he outlined the Cancer Cabinet's work to support research and development initiatives across the country.

"Just as President Kennedy inspired the nation 60 years ago with his vision to reach the moon, I'm heartened by President Biden's vision to eradicate cancer. We all dream of the day, hopefully soon, when no one will have to suffer from this horrible disease or the pain of losing a loved one to it." [Statement, 09/12/22]

Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette: "In 2016, @RepFredUpton and I had the honor of working with then-VP Biden to include his Cancer Moonshot in our 21st Century Cures Act. Now, 6 years later, we've had the honor to work him again, as POTUS, to make ARPA-H a reality & put us on a course to end cancer as we know it!" [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath: "Twice, I was told I had breast cancer. Twice, my family and friends felt the impact of my diagnosis. Twice, because of the support of my doctors and loved ones, I survived. Cancer impacts the lives of every single American. Together, we can end cancer as we know it." [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Schultz: "Cancer knows no political affiliations. It afflicts all Americans. Today marks 60 yrs since JFK's Moonshot speech, I'm proud @POTUS will share his own US moonshot vision: end cancer as we know it. This survivor & millions more share this noble mission." [Tweet, 09/12/2]

Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver: "Cancer doesn't only afflict Democrats or Republicans—it impacts all Americans. When we come together as a nation to fight for a common cause, there's nothing that the American people cannot achieve. Together, we can end cancer as we know it. Let's do it, @POTUS!" [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "Cancer knows no political affiliations. It afflicts all Americans. Today marks 60 yrs since JFK's Moonshot speech, I'm proud @POTUS will share his own US moonshot vision: end cancer as we know it. This survivor & millions more share this noble mission." [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Georgia Congresswoman Nikema Williams: "Congratulations Dr. Renee Wegrzyn! It's no surprise to see a @GeorgiaTech alum leading the way in innovation and I know that Dr. Wegrzyn will be a great leader for the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. Next up: let's bring the ARPA-H headquarters to Georgia!" [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Massachusetts Congresswoman Lori Trahan: "Incredibly moved by @POTUS 's words on his #CancerMoonshot Initiative. I'm proud to work with a president who is taking bold action to address a disease that has devastated so many families and affected each and every one of us in one way or another." [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Advocacy Organizations and Advocates

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network: "The President's ongoing commitment to changing the trajectory of cancer is critical, as we need a national commitment to enact policies that will have wide reaching impact. We've made tremendous strides in how we prevent, detect, treat and survive cancer, but there is still much work to be done to improve the lives of those touched by this disease.

"The nomination of Dr. Renee Wegrzyn as the inaugural director of Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), is a critical step in moving forward the important work on an agency developed to accelerate innovation and translate discovery from the lab to the patient's bedside together with critically important federal investment in core biomedical and cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute.

"This year more than 1.9 million people will hear the words "You have cancer" and more than 609 thousand Americans will die from the disease. The President understands the ongoing impact of this disease on families across this country - having endured the loss of his son Beau following a cancer diagnosis. And he's not alone. Everyone knows someone who has been impacted by this disease, whether a family member, friend or being diagnosed themselves.

"As the president delivers his remarks, hundreds of cancer advocates from every state in the country are in Washington to engage their members of Congress, urging lawmakers to make cancer a national priority. ACS CAN is committed to continuing to work with the president and all members of Congress to end cancer as we know it." [Statement, 09/12/22]

Dr. Lori J. Pierce Board Chair of the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO): "President John F. Kennedy's historic speech that inspired our nation and an entire generation of Americans to achieve manned space exploration underscored the courage and commitment it would take to accomplish this then-audacious goal: 'We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.'

"Marking the 60th Anniversary of President Kennedy's Moonshot Address, President Biden, today, underscored how those words are as true as ever as the President announced major steps forward to achieve the goals of the Cancer Moonshot.

"Importantly, the President noted that progress has been made as a result of the past six years of federal funding and the unified efforts of oncologists, cancer researchers, patients, the Administration, and Congress—all made possible through the 21st Century Cures Act. Indeed, for decades, ASCO and other stakeholders have long been working towards speeding advances in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, patient access to clinical trials and care, supporting the next generation and early career oncology researchers, and unlocking oncology insights from real world data to improve health outcomes for all patients with cancer. But this investment and collaboration needs to continue so that we equitably deliver on the advancements envisioned by the Cancer Moonshot.

"This landmark initiative offers the cancer community an opportunity to focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion in cancer research and care and equitable access to breakthrough technologies. ASCO supports the President's additional efforts to solidify supply chains and ensure U.S. competitiveness in biomedical technologies to improve health outcomes. Improved access to high-quality, equitable care for all cancer patients means access to innovative treatments that are a result of global oncology research and investments.

"Finally, we applaud the President's efforts to continue the implementation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). ARPA-H has the potential to further innovate and expedite research, particularly for all cancers and in collaboration with the goals of the Cancer Moonshot. We look forward to working with the new inaugural director of ARPA-H, Renee Wegrzyn, PhD, to improve the health outcomes for all cancer patients through transformative, high-risk, high-reward research that fills gap in the current biomedical research enterprise.

"The cancer community is unified in its commitment to end cancer as we know it. The President has injected new energy toward achieving this ambitious goal, and ASCO is proud to be part of this effort." [Statement, 09/12/22]

Dr. Ellen V. Sigal, Chairwoman of Friends of Cancer Research: "[Dr. Wegrzyn is] an inspired choice. She is a proven innovator and leader who knows science, knows how to make government work and understands the urgency for patients across the country." [Quoted in Article]

Dr. Alber Bourla, PhD, DVM Chairman and CEO of Pfizer: "Excited to see @POTUS inspiring action through the #CancerMoonshot Initiative. One way or another, cancer touches all our lives, and at @Pfizer, we know we must continue our work to advance breakthroughs to combat these deadly diseases." [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Dr. Karen Knudson (CEO of American Cancer Society): "President Biden summarizes the #CancerMoonshot - "bringing a new urgency to the fight against cancer…change the culture, increase cooperation…". Could not agree more. Partnerships are key for ending cancer as we know it, for everyone. @AmericanCancer @ACSCAN @POTUS". [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers: "Today, @POTUS commemorates the 60th anniversary of JFK's Moonshot Speech. In 2019, @ShopfloorNAM took inspiration from this historic speech for our State of MFG Tour—showing how manufacturing innovation continues to propel America into the future, to conquer the next frontier." [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Dr. Jason Kelly, Co-founder and CEO at Ginkgo Bioworks: "Congrats @rwegrzyn !! ??? Perfect choice for the inaugural director of ARPA-H! The next generation of bio R&D leaders will come from #synbio #SB as we enter the DNA Age??? Thank you for your service, we're all lucky to have your leadership." [Tweet, 09/12/22]

Joseph R. Biden, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: President Biden Is Making Progress on Cancer Moonshot Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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