Speaking to a packed house Sunday at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, former Vice President Joe Biden called the fight against cancer "the only bipartisan thing left in America," and outlined how his nonprofit Biden Foundation will lead the way to stop the disease.
The audience included several people working in the tech field, and Biden implored them to use their "ingenuity" to come up with innovative programs related to cancer, like an app that makes it easier for patients to send test results from hospital to hospital. "Many of you are developing technologies and innovations for purposes large and small, fun and serious, entertaining and lifesaving, that have nothing to do with cancer — but you could make a gigantic impact," he said. "We need you to help us reach people who need to change their behavior and avoid cancer."
Biden was tasked with heading a program to speed up cancer research in the United States by former President Barack Obama; Biden said Obama put him in charge of the initiative after the former vice president mentioned he would have "loved to have been the president who presides over the end of cancer as we know it." Biden's son, Beau, died of brain cancer in 2015, and Biden said he wants to "spare other families what our family, and so many other families, have gone through."