President Barack Obama tasked Vice President Joe Biden with curing cancer during Tuesday’s State of the Union—much to Biden’s apparent surprise.
Obama announced a new national cancer initiative, fronted by the Vice President. “Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control,” Obama said. “For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”
This was much to the surprise of Biden, who reacted quickly, mouthing to House Speaker Paul Ryan that the initiative was “news to me.”
The Vice President’s office was not surprised though, as they quickly posted a briefing on Biden’s “moonshot” to cure cancer on the blogging platform Medium. His son, Joseph “Beau” Biden passed away to brain cancer last May, which inspired his father to take on the issue. Through the initiative, Biden will says he will work with private industry, government, doctors, patients and more to “target investment, coordinate across silos and increase access to information for everyone in the cancer community.
“I know that we can help solidify a genuine global commitment to end cancer as we know it today—and inspire a new generation of scientists to pursue new discoveries and the bounds of human endeavor,” Biden wrote on Medium.