Joe Biden Delivers Tearful SXSW Speech About Curing Cancer

Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech on Sept. 16 2016 at Rice University's Tudor Fieldhouse about the White House Cancer Moonshot an initiative Biden leads that aims to double the rate of progress toward a cure for cancer

Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech on Sept. 16 2016 at Rice University's Tudor Fieldhouse about the White House Cancer Moonshot an initiative Biden leads that aims to double the rate of progress toward a cure for cancer

Biden was the leader of the White House Moonshot Task Force, whose mission was to work with a wide array of executive departments within the government to foster clinical research, therapy development, and other cancer-related issues, while serving in his former positon.

As to why he chose South by Southwest to deliver this message, Biden said that he needs the collective help of the kinds of people who attend the conference. "Many of you are developing technologies and innovations for purposes large and small, fun and serious, entertaining and life-saving".

"That's why we need your help". His son Beau, a former state attorney general of DE, died in May 2015 at age 46 after battling brain cancer. Joe and his wife Dr. Jill Biden founded the Biden Foundation, which focuses on cancer research, domestic violence, and equality. Since June, the database has added 16,000 additional patients that can be examined by "anyone who wants access to it", he said.

Nonetheless, he pledged to work with the new administration.

"By aggregating and sharing millions of patients' data, by sharing super computing power of one million, billion calculations per second, we can understand why one therapy treatment works for one person, and not another", Biden said.

"Cancer never gives up; it never surrenders", Biden said. "Our generation can be the first generation on earth that has a completely different understanding of cancer as a controllable and preventable disease rather than a death sentence".

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Biden established the National Cancer Moonshot, and addressed it as part of the Connect to End Cancer series in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the AT&T Foundry for Connected Health, and Merck & Co., Inc.

He also discussed prevention options, including living a healthy lifestyle, avoiding cancer risk behaviors like smoking and having access to clean air and clean water - at which point he took a dig at President Donald Trump's administration for denying climate change, saying "it frustrates me".

At the time of President Nixon's cancer initiative in 1970, Biden said, "we thought there was only one cancer".

For all the private-sector money that's being invested in cancer research, the bulk of it is still provided by taxpayers: "billions and billions of dollars", Biden said in a Carl Sagan-esque voice that got a laugh from the audience.

"It is my hope that this new administration, once it gets organized - and I'm not being facetious - will be able to focus on and be as committed and as enthusiastic as we were in the goal of ending cancer as we know it", he said. "We can make enormous, enormous, enormous progress", said Biden.

Although Biden's speech wasn't listed on the official schedule for what would be shown via live stream from this year's SXSW, the event's Facebook page - which is where the live footage would be streamed on - said "we'll be live streaming exclusive conversations, red carpet coverage, and live performances on Facebook".

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