NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — First Lady Jill Biden spent nearly two hours at the Louisiana Cancer Research Center on Friday (March 10) to emphasize the importance of ongoing research in the fight against cancer.
It was her first visit to Louisiana since becoming the nation’s First Lady.
dr Biden toured the facility and spoke with scientists from LSU and Tulane there. The research center includes a consortium of institutions from the local scientific community, including LSU, Tulane and Xavier Universities, and Ochsner Health.
Before a full audience, Biden said her sister was a lymphoma survivor. Biden’s son Beau lost his battle with brain cancer in 2015.
“Cancer changes everyone it touches, and in a way we all know that; it touches us all. This community knows more than most that so many families here in Louisiana have lost loved ones to this disease,” Biden said.
She said she praised the work being done at the cancer center. And she and the President said Krebs doesn’t discriminate and doesn’t care if someone is “blue” or “red” in terms of political ideology.
“The breakthroughs and discoveries you are making here, every cancer-causing virus that we can detect; Every successful clinical trial becomes the miracle our families pray for. Your work changes lives and saves lives,” said Dr. biden
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She was joined on the tour by the center’s director and CEO, Joe Ramos, Ph.D., and US Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and his wife, Dr. Laura Cassidy, Congressman Troy Carter (D-La.) and accompanying Mayor Latoya Cantrell.
“In everything we do, we must address the profound health justice and cancer inequalities that so many in our state face,” Ramos said.
Sen. Cassidy is also a physician specializing in gastroenterology.
“We have a population that is vulnerable to developing cancer and consequently dying,” he said.
Carter also spoke about the prevalence of cancer in Louisiana.
“We won’t turn a blind eye to the reality that life in our state includes far too many experiences with this deadly disease, but that doesn’t always have to be the case,” Carter said.
In 2016, Joe Biden led the Cancer Moonshot initiative as vice president and revived it as president in 2022.
And with that, President Biden has set a new national goal of reducing the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years.
Biden’s proposed fiscal 2024 budget increases federal government investment in cancer research.
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