President Joe Biden has quite the reputation for uttering gaffes and misstatements and, to their credit, his White House team is usually pretty good about including the errant comments in transcripts of his remarks.
Yet, after Biden falsely claimed on Tuesday that his administration had "ended cancer as we know it," the White House transcribers felt it necessary to erase that mistake from the record and replace it with different words that completely altered what the president actually said, Breitbart reported.
Adding to the irony of this incident is the fact that the speech in which Biden mistakenly declared that cancer had been ended under his watch was focused on treatment for mental health illnesses -- which some suspect may be a key contributor to the president's apparent increasing frequency in his propensity for uttering gaffes.
During his speech Tuesday in the East Room of the White House about expanding access to mental health care, President Biden made a reference to supposed criticism he has received for his focus on combatting cancer and reducing deaths from the disease.
"I said I'd cure cancer. They looked at me like, 'Why cancer?'" Biden said. "Because no one thinks we can. That's why, and we can. We ended cancer as we know it."
Biden: "I said I'd cure cancer they looked at me like, why cancer? Because we can. We ended cancer as we know it." pic.twitter.com/RI5JqxyG3A
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 25, 2023
However, despite President Biden being caught on camera quite clearly stating that he and his administration have "ended cancer," that is not what appears in the official White House transcript of his remarks.
Instead, the transcript reads, "'If you could do anything at all, Joe, what would you do?' I said, 'I’d cure cancer.' And they looked at me like, 'Why cancer?' Because no one thinks we can. That’s why. And we can. We can end cancer as we know it."
Obviously, there is a substantial difference in meaning between the phrases "We ended cancer" and "We can end cancer," with the former being a definitive declaration while the latter is decidedly more aspirational and prospective.
The New York Post reported on President Biden's gaffe in relation to his initiatives to combat cancer, which includes the admittedly "ambitious" goal of cutting cancer deaths by half within 25 years through increased early detection and diagnosis, more preventative measures, and better-improved treatments for those who are sick.
The initiative was undoubtedly spurred by his family's own history with cancer, including his eldest son Beau's death in 2015 from brain cancer and his own surgical removal of cancerous lesions on his chest last year.
Yet, as laudable as Biden's goals may be, they are nowhere near being reached, as the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be nearly two million new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2023 and more than 600,000 deaths from the disease during the same 12-month span.
Meanwhile, with regard to President Biden's "We ended cancer" gaffe, the Post noted that it was brutally mocked by the president's critics and opponents with a mix of heavy sarcasm and expressions of concern, whether faux or legitimate, for Biden's own mental health.
As for the White House's coverup of that misstatement with a fraudulently altered transcript, all they have done is brought more attention to yet another outrageously false claim from the president that otherwise would have been laughed at and forgotten about within a day or two, but will now be front and center for some time.