March 10, 2021 Media

Colorado Politics: DeGette meets with Biden about pursuit of cancer cure

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., were among the lawmakers who met with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office last week to discuss the goals of finding a cure for cancer and supporting other innovations in health treatments.

“In 2016, we had the privilege to work with then-Vice President Biden to make his cancer moonshot program a reality as part of our 21st Century Cures Act,” wrote DeGette and Upton after the March 3 meeting. “ President Biden told us ending cancer as we know it would be a major priority, and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with him, once again, to help make this dream come true.”

In 2016, President Barack Obama charged Biden, then the vice president, with managing an initiative to better prevent, treat and diagnose cancer, with a goal of ultimately ending it. That same year, Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act from DeGette and Upton into law, which aimed to accelerate the development of certain medical products.

“As the President, Vice President, and Members of Congress discussed, this is an issue that is personal and one that affects all families. They had a productive conversation and exchanged constructive ideas about how to make breakthrough progress in cancer research,” read a statement from the White House about the meeting.

Biden’s son, Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III, died of brain cancer in 2015.

DeGette and Upton also described speaking with the president about Biden’s desire for a new agency, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, that would co-opt the private sector and universities in the development of health products.