Mar 1, 2022 - Health

Biden to announce "unity agenda" around cancer

President Joe Biden.
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden plans to use tonight's State of the Union address to try to rally Democrats and Republicans around efforts to "end cancer as we know it."

Why it matters: This unity agenda comes weeks after the announcement of a relaunch of Biden's cancer moonshot initiative, during which he called for a "whole of government approach" aimed at decreasing the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years.

  • Biden during his presidential campaign pledged to cure cancer, though health experts were skeptical he could make good on the pledge.
  • The new effort comes at a time when it's increasingly hard for Democrats and Republicans to find common ground.

Driving the news: In his State of the Union Address, Biden will provide updates on work by the "Cancer Cabinet" agencies and departments which have been putting together the agenda for the Administration’s approach to the Cancer Moonshot, White House officials said.

  • He will also again call on Congress again to fund his proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA-H.
  • Biden first proposed the agency last spring, based on the Defense Department program, DARPA, to focus on developing new ways to prevent, detect, and treat diseases such as cancer. Key lawmakers said the agency had to first be authorized before it could be funded.

What to watch: Biden will also use his speech to announce a major overhaul aimed at improving nursing home quality, including minimum staffing requirements, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Go deeper