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Politics

Jill Biden Promotes Cancer Research in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — First lady Jill Biden was traveling to a medical center in New Orleans on Friday to stress the importance of cancer research, a priority in the budget proposal President Joe Biden sent to Congress.

The Democratic president’s overall budget plan has been roundly criticized by Republicans and won’t make it through Congress intact. But Biden is hoping the fight against cancer will find bipartisan support.

Set to accompany the first lady at the Louisiana Cancer Research Center was Sen. Bill Cassidy, who had joined his fellow Republicans a day earlier in criticizing the overall budget plan. Cassidy and his wife Laura, who was also slated to attend Friday’s events, are physicians.

The president made fighting cancer part of the “unity agenda” that he outlined near the beginning of his administration, and he’s asked Congress to approve $2.8 billion to advance the goal.

It’s a personal issue for the Bidens. According to the White House, Jill Biden’s advocacy for cancer education and prevention dates to 1993, when four of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer. The president’s eldest son, Beau, died from a brain tumor. And, the president and first lady both recently had lesions removed that contained basal cell carcinoma, a kind of skin cancer.

President Biden has set a goal of reducing cancer death rates by half over the next 25 years.

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