Curing Cancer

During his state of the union address this week President Obama announced a campaign to cure cancer.

Even though he’s a cancer survivor, The Curmudgeon doesn’t think much of the idea. He thinks cancer’s going to be cured by pharmaceutical companies, because they have dollar signs in their eyes, and not academic scientists working with the help of government grants.

The Curmudgeon also thinks that launching such an obviously long-term venture in the last of eight years in office is really, really weak. He sees it as an attempt to distract the public from more pressing issues, and that seems to have worked: along with the implicit criticism of Donald Trump and the Republican response to the president’s speech by South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, the cancer campaign seems to have gotten more attention than any other aspect of the rambling speech and succeeded, at least in the short run, in doing the desired distracting.

But this isn’t the first time a president contemplated using his state of the union address to announce the launch of a campaign to cure cancer. Another president, also trying to distract people from other problems in his administration, strongly considered doing the same but ultimately decided – wisely, in The Curmudgeon’s view – not to do so. Read about the almost-campaign here and see how he intended to announce his plan here.

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  • Barbara Snyder  On January 16, 2016 at 9:45 am

    I see the SOTU speech as an attempt to provide hope for a tired nation. I recently was caregiver to my brother. Seven months before the pancreatic cancer finally killed him in December. The pres wants to cure cancer? I want to hear that. I need to hear that.

  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On January 17, 2016 at 8:28 pm


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