President Donald Trump made few new promises during his campaign speech Thursday night in Cincinnati. But two promises resonated with people, judging by interest on the internet: curing pediatric cancer and curing AIDS.
During the rally at U.S Bank Arena, he said: "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."
Let's take the promises, which both originated in his 2019 State of the Union message, one at a time.
Curing pediatric cancer
First, the cure rate for pediatric cancers is already at 80 percent. Kaiser Health News reports that's because "of the tremendous progress that's been made with childhood leukemia." But for other pediatric cancers, "the cure rates havenít changed in 20 years," Kaiser says.
Trump said in the State of the Union in February that he would set aside $500 million for research into pediatric cancer over 10 years.
The proposal would be a boost in federal spending on cancer. But it's unclear "how meaningful the increase is in relation to current federal spending on childhood cancer research," Kaiser reported earlier this year.
"The National Institutes of Health estimates its 2019 spending in this area to be $462 million, according to research portfolio data. So, $500 million over 10 years, or an average $50 million a year, amounts to a bit more than a 10 percent increase," Kaiser's Victoria Knight wrote.
"To put it in perspective: The $500 million figure pales in comparison to other medical research initiatives that previous presidents have outlined amid the pomp and circumstance of this annual speech," Knight wrote.
"Barack Obama announced during his 2016 State of the Union that he wanted to 'make America the country that cures cancer once and for all,' launching what came to be known as the 'Cancer Moonshot' initiative. In his initial announcement, Obama proposed $1 billion to be parceled out over fiscal years 2016 and 2017," Knight wrote later in the story.
"That amounts to an average of $500 million over two years."