The American Cancer Society suggested that President Donald Trump wasn’t responsible for the decline in cancer deaths after he appeared to take credit for the lowered cancer mortality rate.
The president boasted on Twitter on Friday morning, “U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest In Recorded History! A lot of good news coming out of this Administration.”
But the American Cancer Society took issue with Trump’s boast. The organization’s CEO Gary M. Reedy told CNN, “The mortality trends reflected in our current report, including the largest drop in overall cancer mortality ever recorded from 2016 to 2017, reflect prevention, early detection, and treatment advances that occurred in prior years”
Reedy added, “Since taking office, the president has signed multiple spending bills that have included increases in funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute — though the impact of those increases are not reflected in the data contained in this report.”
This isn’t the first time that Trump has made an unusual boast about cancer — it’s not even the most outrageous claim he’s made. During an August rally, the president promised to cure childhood cancer and end the AIDS epidemic, telling his crowd, “I see what they are doing. I see it. They show me. The things we are 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.”
Reedy said that the administration could help lower the cancer mortality rate by “increasing access to comprehensive health care, supporting robust and sustained increases in federal funding for cancer research and passing and implementing evidence-based tobacco control policies.”
Trump has said that he intends to pump funding into cancer research. During his 2019 State of the Union address, he said that he would put $500 million for pediatric cancer research over a ten year period.