At SXSW, Joe Biden asks the tech community for help fighting cancer

In January Biden announced the launch of his Biden Foundation Cancer Initiative, which focuses on improving data standards for cancer researchers, and access to and affordability of cancer treatment for patients. "I promised I'd do everything I could to knock down every silo that existed at the federal level, impeding progress", Biden said. "What an indictment of the American political system right now that I get an award for my bipartisan work". "That was his phrase".

But which meme had him chuckling the most?

Mr. Biden, referred to by Dr. Assanis as the "most distinguished" DE alumnus in history, said he holds a special place in his heart for the institution: "I owe this place, I owe this state and I owe this university". These are technological problems. "They said, 'look, you're going to need an bad lot of space in the cloud to accommodate all this data". While discussing a prospective run with President Obama, Biden told his boss that his only regret was that he "would have loved to have been the president who presides over the end of cancer as we know it". A year earlier, Biden had lost his son to brain cancer at the age of 46.

Twitter and Instagram were flooded with pictures of then US President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden with entertaining captions imagining conversations between the two. "I could hire, fire, set priorities. I would have liked to have been the president that presided over the end of cancer as we know it".

But Biden didn't focus his remarks on his former Commander-In-Chief's replacement, but rather on an issue that surely both parties can agree, finding a cure for the dreaded disease of cancer.

Biden, the 47th vice president of the United States of America from 2009 to 2017, was added just last week to the list of keynote speakers at the massive gathering of technology, film and music enthusiasts. He also negotiated ten global memorandums of understanding with eight countries to share such data.

Biden said Sunday he was still optimistic Congress could make strides toward rooting out cancer, even in the polarizing era of Trump.

"Private philanthropy is very important", he said, "but billions and billions of dollars come from taxpayers". And though being a husband to Jill is certainly an achievement worth bragging about, Biden can claim other noteworthy titles: the forty-seventh vice president of the United States, longtime USA senator, and-as he emphasized on Sunday at South by Southwest-a cancer crusader. He vowed to work with Trump to ensure cancer research remains a top priority.

"It's my hope that this new Administration, once they get organized - and I'm not being facetious - that they will work in this fight against cancer".

For now, though, the Obama administration's pages on the effort are missing and a search for "cancer moonshot" returns zero results. "If we can break down silos that are preventing collaborations, we could at a minimum extend the life of a lot of people with cancer", he said.

  • Jon Douglas