While Obama gives speech, Biden unveils cancer mission

Vice President Joseph Biden
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Vice President Joseph Biden

While President Barack Obama delivered his final State of the Union address on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden revealed his cancer "moonshot."

Biden's plan is to increase funding for cancer research and to "break down the silos" so that researchers can better work together to "stop [cancer] in its tracks."

"The Federal government will do everything it possibly can — through funding, targeted incentives, and increased private-sector coordination — to support research and enable progress," he said in a statement.

Biden's moonshot is reminiscent of Richard Nixon's 1971 National Cancer Act, which called on Congress to provide any necessary funding to battle the disease.

The former Delaware U.S. senator, whose son Beau Biden died of brain cancer in May of last year, secured a $264 million funding boost for the National Cancer Institute in the government spending bill passed by Congress in December.

Biden's cancer mission was endorsed by Obama during the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

"Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer," Obama said. "Tonight, I'm announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he's gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I'm putting Joe in charge of Mission Control."