New Moonshot Announcement Kicks off a week of Cancer-Related Events


Last week, I got a tip that Joe Biden and his wife Jill would announce their new cancer initiative on Monday that would basically continue the cancer moonshot work the former veep spearheaded in his last year of the White House.

So this would be pretty big news right? Biden + cancer moonshot + new thing.

But then the Congressional Budget Office dropped its report on the Senate health-care bill about 20 minutes before the Bidens went live on Facebook.


However, that event ended up as a kickoff of a full week of events related to cancer research that happened in our nation’s capital this week. The very next day after the Biden announcement, Cancer Support Community held a one-year moonshot anniversary event.

Greg Simon, who headed the White House task force on the moonshot and will now serve as president of the Biden initiative, delivered his keynote address at the Tuesday anniversary event. He took a second to blast the new health-care bill as “a war on the poor.”

Then on Thursday, a bunch of groups held their fifth annual Turning the Tide Against Cancer event.

But apparently not everyone’s a fan. I left Turning the Tide to cover an event on the government’s role in medical innovation organized by conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. One of the speakers at that panel was former Harvard Medical School Dean Jeffrey S. Flier. While acknowledging, “there’s never been a time in history where we know more and have more capabilities than we do right now,” he cautioned against overpromising that research.

“I don’t like the excessive optimism and spin, moonshot initiatives that make no sense whatsoever,” Flier said, adding, “Things like that make people doubt the honesty of what scientists say. And we don’t want them to doubt us.” You can watch his full remarks here.

Read my full story here.

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