From: Steve Clemons
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2017 19:28
To: Goodman, Meghan Hays K. EOP/OVP
Subject: VPOTUS pool report 6 -- Davos
Vice President Biden spoke to a packed hall of about 180 people at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in the Aspen Room of Congress Hall on the state of the "Cancer Moonshot" that President Obama asked Biden to spearhead.
The full transcript will be released by the Vice President's office, but your pool will provide a few highlights and shout outs from VP Biden's remarks.
This session today is a follow up to a cancer moonshot roundtable organized one year ago by the Vice President at the request then of World Economic Forum chief Klaus Schwab.
In today's speech he VP gave a big shout out to Elizabeth Blackburn, an Australian American Nobel laureate who is President the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who also attended the roundtable last year. VP Biden said "she has forgotten more about this subject than I will ever know."
The VP also gave a shout out to Greg Simon, Executive Director of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, will will lead the Biden Cancer Initiative, after he and VP Biden leave office. Biden said he is leaving office "in about 48 hours." Said, "I hope I have a ride home."
Some lines for Vice President Biden:
"When we announced the cancer moonshot, I knew there would be a lot of skeptics out there.
Here we go again. Haven't we done this before? President Nixon when he declared war on cancer in 1971; he was earnest, and sincere, and very committed but what makes a difference between then and now is that he had no army, he had no army, he had no resources, he had no weapons, he had no strategy to win. But after 45 years with many of you in this room doing incredible work, after decades of funding research, training scientists and physicians, treating millions of patients, we now have an army."
"We have powerful new technologies and tools like immunotherapy - which by the way even six, eight, ten years ago was viewed as a voodoo science out there. It wasn't really an integral part of this fight. It makes cancer cells visible to the immune system so our natural defenses can destroy the cancer. Surgeons are using cutting edge robotics to allow for far more precise imaging to identify the cancer and surgically remove the cancer in hard to reach areas. Liquid biopsies that find that find early signs of cancer in the blood and tell you whether or not you have a particular kind of cancer. These advances and many others provide hope that more precise medicines and diagnostics might greatly improve and detect and defect cancer."
"There is recognition that by aggregating and sharing millions of patients' data like genomics, family history, lifestyles, treatment outcomes, with the computing power we have now, a million billions calculations per second, we can understand why one therapy or treatment works for one person and not for another, for the same exact cancer. And today, it was just announced that two major data sharing organizations, who were part of the roundtable [last year]. Five of them were here when we had the roundtable last year. Two of them, Cancer Link and another that focuses on genomic information called Project Gene are joining forces to accelerate data sharing of real world clinical data that will improve cancer treatment."
"But there is also an international consensus We have enormous opportunities I believe with greater collaboration, but organizing a different pathway than we have been following. This investment in my view should be matched by other nations who agree that now Is the time to double down in our fight against cancer. It is my hope as I have already spoken to the Vice President Elect, who is a good man about to come in and become vice president in three days or four days, about my willingness to continue to work with him and the incoming administration, to be committed and enthusiastic as we are in the goal of ending cancer as we know it, and my prayer is they will do that as well."
"I am optimistic. I know I'm always optimistic. I'm optimistic because of the absolute commitment and sheer brilliance I have been exposed to. So many researchers and scientists and these great institutions."
There is much more to the speech, delivered with surprising alacrity and significant detail. So stay tuned for the full transcript from the White House.
The Vice President finished his speech at 5:55pm and then met a number of the researchers and experts in the room as he worked his way back to a holding room. He then departed the Congress Centre at 6:15pm.
There is now a lid for the rest of the evening.
Washington Editor at Large, The Atlantic
Follow me on Twitter @SCClemons