ATLANTA–DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson joined First Lady Jill Biden during her visit today (Sept. 15) at Emory University to announce a renewed, more ambitious “Cancer Moonshot” program, an initiative aimed at reducing the rate of cancer in the U.S. by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years.
First Lady Biden’s visit highlighted the program as the first project funded under the Biden Administration’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). The agency aims to accelerate better outcomes for society’s most challenging health problems. The $1.8 billion Cancer Moonshot program, initially approved by Congress in 2013, is being reignited to mobilize efforts toward achieving two clear goals that President Biden and First Lady Biden have set: to prevent more than 4 million cancer deaths by 2047 and to improve the experience of people who are touched by cancer.
The program will support the use of mRNA technology to train immune systems to fight cancer and other diseases in the most efficient way possible.
Commissioner Larry Johnson, who has been a staunch advocate for creating better health opportunities especially among African Americans and other minority populations who suffer disproportionately from many diseases, praised the new project.
“It is important that we continue to make investments and take the necessary preventive measures in dealing with cancer,” said Commissioner Johnson, who attended the meeting at the invitation of the White House. “I am honored to be in attendance today with individuals with diverse backgrounds to see how to further advance this fight against cancer.”
First Lady Biden’s push for cancer education and prevention began in 1993, when four of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer. She launched he Biden Breast Health Initiative tin 1994 to educate Delaware high school girls about the importance of cancer prevention.
Cancer continues to be the second-leading cause of death in the U.S,. after heart disease, according to the American Cancer Society.