Guest Post by Dr. Mark Christian
Executive Director Global Faith Institute
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I am a medical doctor, and therefore claim firsthand knowledge of disease — knowledge that is beyond the grasp of the political class (unless, of course, a political figure happens to actually possess such knowledge, like Dr. Ben Carson). President Obama’s announcement in his Omaha speech of January 13 that he is appointing Joe Biden (Joe Biden!) to mobilize America to cure Cancer is not only ridiculous, it is unfeasible and an insult to those who suffer from Cancer as well as the intelligence of the American people and the medical profession.
President Obama seeks to draw a parallel between president Kennedy’s call to go to the Moon and his own call to cure Cancer now, under the leadership of Joe Biden. This absurdity has all the marks of another attempt at legacy-building which can claim, as a politically-inspired solution, the fruits of intense labor, research, and efforts of those involved in developing effective treatments for dreaded diseases.
The president, who typically projects an image of know-it-all competence, actually reveals his ignorance in targeting “Cancer” as a singular focus. There are many kinds of Cancer, and one does have to be a medical professional to know this. The idea of a politician such as Joe Biden (or any other, for that matter) organizing the nation’s research and experimental strategies against Cancer’s varieties is not only absurd, it is dangerous. To the extent that Cancer research becomes politicized—an inevitability given Obama’s character and announcement—people will find their privacy infringed along with the dangers of raising false hope. Will, for example, the knowledge of a family’s genetic inheritance and history need be reported to some governmental bureaucracy overseeing research? This is not paranoia. It is reasonable inquiry into the possibility of governmental action that will further erode Constitutional liberties, continuing and strengthening current trends in this direction.
The alleged parallel between JFK’s NASA project and the projected Biden-led Cancer project fails to recognize a vast economic gap between the 1960s and our own time. The nation, in JFK’s day, was not riddled with mountains of “entitlement” programs on the verge of bankruptcy nor saddled with a 19 trillion dollar debt. President Obama pleads that the nation’s economy is getting “better,” and therefore we can afford strong governmental leadership/funding for the Cancer project. In this, Mr. Obama simply exposes yet again his fundamental ignorance of economic and medical realities, or his own calloused disregard of them.