Biotechnology at the forefront as Biden calls on US lunar mission in renewed cancer fight

President Joe Biden on Monday invoked the national effort to land a man on the moon 60 years ago in a speech praising his Cancer Moonshot initiative, which aims to halve the cancer death rate in the United States. Reduce.

President Joe Biden on Monday invoked the national effort to land a man on the moon 60 years ago in a speech praising his Cancer Moonshot initiative, which aims to halve the cancer death rate in the United States. Reduce.

The Democrat was in Boston for a speech that purposefully echoed John F. Kennedy’s famous 1962 “Moonshot Speech,” calling for an American to land on the lunar surface—something accomplished in 1969, after his death. murder.

This time, Biden is pushing for government-backed efforts to coordinate and fund cancer treatment, seek cures, and generally prevent the disease through better public health.

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death after heart disease and Biden said his Cancer Moonshot could halve the death rate in the next 25 years.

“I know we can do this together because I know this: There is nothing, nothing, nothing beyond our capacity or ability when we work together as the United States of America,” he said.

Biden said that as in 1962, when the country was in the midst of the Cold War and domestic tensions were high over civil rights, the United States is at an “inflection point” today.

And like Kennedy with his Moon program, Biden said he wanted to set “a national goal that could unite the American people for a common cause.”

– Support from the daughter of JFK –

Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the assassinated JFK and now US ambassador to Australia, said her father defied the doubters in the 1960s, when “scientists weren’t even sure a moon landing on the moon’s surface was possible.”

However, Kennedy “understood the power of the idea” and saw the project as a way to unify the country. “No one embodies that spirit more than President Joe Biden,” she said. “As president, he has restored the soul of America.”

The fight against cancer is personal to Biden: His son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015 when Biden was vice president to Barack Obama.

Biden noted that cancer “doesn’t discriminate…it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat.”

“I give you my word as Biden: This Cancer Moonshot is one of the reasons I ran for president.”

The link to the Moon program was also intended to add to Democratic momentum ahead of November’s congressional midterm elections, as Democrats face the possibility of a Republican victory in Congress, which seriously hurt the final two years of Biden’s first term in office. complicated.

– Change the trajectory –

Biden said his plan will push for cures and ways to manage cancer, turning “more cancers from death sentences into chronic diseases that people can live with.”

“We know we can change the trajectory,” he said.

The president said he used funding, as well as government expertise in high-tech research, similar to the defense industry, where public-private partnerships drive innovations in weapons and other military needs.

A new agency called Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) and the White House’s new “cancer cabinet” will “raise funding to break blockages and accelerate breakthroughs,” while entrepreneurs get support from cutting-edge scientists with NASA, the Pentagon and the energy department.

The goal is to “use all the resources we have,” Biden said, and this “may require unusual partnerships.”

– Biotech boost –

Previously, Biden signed an executive order intended to bolster the efforts of the pioneering US biotech sector to tackle growing commercial rivals in China.

The order brings federal support to “areas that will define U.S. biotech leadership and our economic competitiveness in the decades to come,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters.

The official said that while US biotech research leads the world worldwide, its industrial applications are increasingly in the hands of other countries.

“Unless we translate biotech innovation into economic and societal benefits for all Americans, other countries, including and especially China, are investing aggressively in this sector,” the official said.

The White House says the U.S. biotech industry is on the cutting edge of medical advances — most recently seen in the rapid development of vaccines, tests and therapies to help contain the Covid-19 pandemic — but its potential scope goes much further.

The official speaking to reporters cited studies suggesting that “technical biology has the potential to be used in the manufacturing industry that accounts for more than a third of global production before the end of the decade. That equates to nearly $ 30 trillion in terms of value.”

Growth areas for the biotech industry include new plastics and rubbers, jet fuel and environmentally friendly fertilizers.

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