The War on Cancer is not new. It began in 1971, after President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act. A couple decades later, President Clinton claimed that the Human Genome Project was set to “revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases,” including the likes of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, and cancer. In 2003, National Cancer Institute director Andrew von Eschenbach assured Congress that given a $600 million budget each year, the NCI could “eliminate suffering and death” from cancer by 2010.
Billions, if not trillions, of dollars, hundreds of targets, and several multinational campaigns later, the cancer mortality rate has barely changed — and certainly not to the extent promised. But the overpromises keep coming: The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative announced their goal to mitigate all disease by the end of the century, and President Barack Obama claimed in his 2016 State of the Union that this time’s ”Cancer Moonshot” would get us to a cure.
We can argue about who won the first presidential debate, but it’s pretty clear who lost: America.
People across the political spectrum and almost all undecided voters agreed: It was chaos. There were 741 aggressive interruptions during the 90-minute debate, which featured spectacle and self-aggrandizement over facts and reasoning.
The storied friendship of the late Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin G. Scalia is heartwarming: a persevering mutual admiration despite fierce ideological differences, yearly New Year’s dinners, trips to the opera, even elephant rides.