During his rally to kick off his 2020 campaign in Orlando this Tuesday night, President Trump made a promise that he most likely won’t be able to keep. While that’s not an uncommon occurrence, this particular promise could potentially give a lot of false hope to desperate people.
Standing at the podium, Trump vowed to “come up with the cures to many, many problems, to many, many diseases, including cancer” if he gets a second term.
“We will eradicate AIDS in America, and we’re very close,” he added.
While the goal of eradicating AIDS might be a little more realistic, Trump’s cancer promise is downright reckless.
In this single clip, Trump promises to cure cancer, AIDS, and "lay the foundation" for a Mars landing — all in his second term pic.twitter.com/aLZqbx2p3N
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 19, 2019
In fairness, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made an equally stupid promise at a campaign event in Iowa earlier this month.
“I promise you if I’m elected president, you’re going to see the single most important thing that changes America, we’re gonna cure cancer,” he declared.
As Stat News points out, cancer is not a subject one should be making knee-jerk promises about.
Discoveries cannot be predicted, research is rarely linear, and scientists often require false starts before they learn how to overcome particular roadblocks in research. The pledges from Biden and Trump, however well-intentioned, experts say, threaten to give the public false hope without accelerating science.
While Biden’s promises likely stem from an urgency based on personal tragedy (his son died from glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer), Trump could have a more cynical motive. According to a 2017 tweet from the former editor of the New York Observer, Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner talked privately on Trump’s feelings regarding his base.
“When I was the editor of the New York Observer, Kushner and I were going back and forth about how the paper should cover him,” Elizabeth Spiers wrote in a series of posts on Twitter. “I told Jared that I was particularly appalled by his father-in-law’s birtherism stance, which I viewed as cynical and racist. He rolled his eyes and said ‘He doesn’t really believe it, Elizabeth. He just knows Republicans are stupid and they’ll buy it.'”
“Trump did not con Democrats; he conned – and is still conning – his base,” she added.
While curing cancer is a noble endeavor, it shouldn’t be used as a campaign gimmick, but anything goes in Trumplandia.
Featured image via screen grab/YouTube