President Donald Trump claimed that the U.S. was about to undergo a significant scientific breakthrough and cure childhood cancer and end the AIDS epidemic during a rally in Cincinnati Thursday night, according to Newsweek.
The president did not follow up his promises with any evidence nor did he explain how these significant milestones would be achieved.
“The things we’re doing in our country today, there’s never been anything like it. We will be ending the AIDS epidemic shortly in America, and curing childhood cancer very shortly,” he told an adoring crowd.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, both promises originated in Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address.
Kaiser Health News criticized Trump’s pledge to allocate $500 million for research into pediatric cancer over the next 10 years. Current federal spending on childhood cancer research sits around $462 million each year, so the pledge would amount to a 10 percent annual increase.
Kaiser said this “pales in comparison to other medical research initiatives that previous presidents have outlined amid the pomp and circumstance of this annual speech.” President Barack Obama’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative proposed $1 billion over just two years to aid cancer research in his 2016 State of the Union.
Meanwhile, the president’s promise to end the AIDS epidemic was described by Kaiser to be “doable but daunting.”
Dr. Kenneth Mayer, a medical research director at the Boston LGBT health center Fenway Institute, said the issue was much more complex than just a lack of medication. “There are a lot of social, structural, individual behavioral factors that may impact why people become infected, may impact if people who are infected engage in care and may impact or affect people who are at high risk of HIV," he said.