President Joe Biden will convene a meeting of his Cancer Cabinet on Wednesday, a White House official told CNN, in the latest attempt from the administration to refocus the national conversation around the president’s domestic agenda.
It’ll mark Biden’s first public appearance since House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced plans to open an impeachment inquiry into the president on Tuesday, something the administration has labeled an “illegitimate” endeavor.
The meeting, convened by both the president and first lady Dr. Jill Biden, will allow representatives from across federal agencies to update the nation on new steps by the administration, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to end cancer. The effort is part of the president’s larger Unity Agenda, which he often points to as policy priorities all Americans should be able to support despite the divisive political moment.
“Joe Biden is determined to be a president for all Americans,” White House deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed said in a statement Tuesday. “That is why his Unity Agenda is about making progress on the biggest challenges we all face regardless of party. At his direction, the entire federal government is mobilizing like never before to end cancer as we know it.”
Per a fact sheet shared with CNN ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health will announce $240 million in investments to fund research and innovators this year for cancer-related projects, as well as a new partnership with the NIH, the National Cancer Institute to launch a so-called Biomedical Data Fabric Toolbox, which the administration says will be “the first step toward transforming data accessibility across all medical domains.”
In addition, new programs from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Environmental Protect Agency will seek to expand cancer care to underserved communities, reduce the impact of smoking in underserved, minority, tribal, and veterans’ communities, and invest in community centers offering cancer screenings.
And NASA, in partnership with the International Space Station, will also announce funding for in-orbit research projects to advance cancer technology.
Biden unveiled his “Cancer Cabinet,” as part of his administration’s broader Cancer Moonshot initiative in 2022. It’s made up of representatives from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, Defense, Energy and Agriculture, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and others across the executive branch.
For her part, the first lady has used her platform to support cancer patients and their families, participating in more than 40 Cancer Moonshot events in 16 cities across almost a dozen states, per the White House.
The issue remains a personal one for the Biden family – both have had cancerous lesions removed as part of routine checkups, while their son, Beau Biden, died of a glioblastoma brain tumor in 2015.
The administration is also expected to unveil new partnerships from a slew of NGO and private entities as part of the meeting Wednesday, with commitments from the American Cancer Society, CVS Health, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the National LGBT Cancer Network, and more.