It’s no secret that President Trump really enjoys saying things that don’t make much sense to any rational human being. Sometimes that means he’s going off about the army taking over airports in the 1700s, other times he might be claiming daughter Ivanka created 14 million jobs. But now, Trump is somehow taking credit for fewer people not dying of cancer.
“U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest in Recorded History!” he tweeted, and if he left it at that, it would have been fine, and a rare piece of truth from the president so well known for lying to the American people.
But, of course, he didn’t.
U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest In Recorded History! A lot of good news coming out of this Administration.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2020
“A lot of good news coming out of this Administration,” Trump finished.
Ah, there it is. While it’s not a straight-up declaration of curing cancer with his own tiny hands, it’s Trump continuing to try to create a false link between his administration and completely unrelated positive things happening in the country.
It was a report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) released on Wednesday, revealing that the death rate from cancer continuously declined between 1991 and 2017, with a particularly large drop of 2.2% between 2016 and 2017, which likely sparked Trump’s tweet.
And the ACS absolutely was not here for Trump taking credit for those results.
“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,” ACS’s chief executive officer, Gary Reedy, told CNN.
He also said that the Trump administration has, in fact, increased funding for cancer research, but that such recent support wasn’t reflected in the report just published.
And then Reedy added a good point about U.S. healthcare:
“The administration has an opportunity to significantly impact future declines in both cancer incidence and mortality 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.”
But then how would insurance and tobacco and pharmaceutical companies get rich?
Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz pointed out that the Trump administration attempted to pass budget cuts to research funding at the National Institute of Health in 2019, effectively slashing funding by 12 percent. As a result, The National Cancer Institute would have lost about $4.5 billion in funding, according to Newsweek.
Cancer rates dropped before you took office. Hopefully they keep dropping because Congress rejected your cruel research budgets, which sought billions in CUTS to @NIH and the National Cancer Institute. This is good news despite you - not because of you https://t.co/gxPvAYSPFe— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) January 9, 2020
In all seriousness, as easy as it is to mock Trump’s claim that his administration is responsible for the record drop in cancer death rates between 2016 and 2017, his very first year in office, there actually may be something to it. Trump becoming president has caused a lot of people to vow to cling to life, just to vote him out next time around.