Next time he needs to define “shortly.” At a rally last night in Cincinnati, Donald Trump promised not only to cure childhood cancer “very shortly,” he also said “we will be ending the AIDS epidemic “shortly” too.
What are the facts? Here’s the latest from the American Cancer Society:
“Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, more than 80% of children with cancer now survive 5 years or more. Overall, this is a huge increase since the mid-1970s, when the 5-year survival rate was about 58%. Still, survival rates vary depending on the type of cancer and other factors.” (emphasis ours) After accidents, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14 . About 1,190 children younger than 15 years old are expected to die from cancer in 2019.
Progress in treating childhood cancers has been remarkable, but not because of Donald Trump. Scientists have been making progress with treatments since Donald Trump was bankrupting casinos.
And many children still die from cancer. Here are more facts from The National Cancer Institute:
- 12% of children who are diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
- 60% of children who survive suffer devastating late effects such as secondary cancers, muscular difficulties and infertility.
- There are approximately 375,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the United States.
As for the AIDS epidemic, Trump has previously called for ending it by 2030 in his State of the Union speech earlier this year. From Newsweek:
“At the time, Kaiser described the achievement as “doable but daunting.” Given the mammoth nature of the task, it seems unlikely that the Trump administration will have achieved the goal with more than 10 years to spare.
“Some 1.1 million people in the U.S. are currently living with HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 38,700 were newly infected in 2016. The number of new infections began to level off in 2013 at around 39,000 per year, following five consecutive years of significant decline.“
It should be noted that Democrat Joe Biden has also claimed if elected, his administration would cure cancer.
This post contains analysis and opinion.