'Optimistic' Biden recommits to cancer cure hunt

President Joe Biden is "optimistic" that progress can be made in the battle against cancer, convening a meeting in the Oval Office with a group of bipartisan House and Senate members to push for more action. (March 3)

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Thanks. Thanks for coming in. These are members of the House, Senate, Democrat, Republican who all have an extremely keen interest in doing what-- what I said once before that I'd love to be the president to preside over an end to cancer as we know it. These are the folks in the House and Senate who'd love to preside over cancer and cancer as we know it.

And they all were critical in the CARES Act, which put about $9 billion in the NIH to deal with cancer and cancer research. And the vice president and I are of the view that we can make significant strides in fighting cancer and Alzheimer's and other diseases if we take a slightly different approach.

And what I want to talk with them about today is how we go about taking advantage of the work they've done to get us where we are today. Because I think we're on the cusp of some real breakthroughs across the board on cancer. And that's what we're going to talk about. And probably to all of you, like all of us, cancer's personal for almost everybody.

It's probably the one word that is most frightening word in the English language to people. When they hear that C word, cancer, it's-- it is-- it is just devastating. And I always ask that when I talk about cancer, I ask the audience if they-- to raise their hand if any of them were suffering from cancer as I spoke and/or they lost someone.

And virtually 70% of every audience, whether or not it's 4,000 people or 400 people. And a lot of folks in this room have, like many of you, like, maybe, have been victims of cancer and overcome it. But there's so much hope that that's what I want to talk about with these folks about what we do from a legislative and substantive point of view to make the kind of inroads I think we can make.

That's what we're talking about today. Thank you for coming in. And we're-- I'm optimistic we're going to get something done here.