Trump Appears to Take Credit for Drop in Cancer Deaths — but American Cancer Society Says Not So Fast
The new report actually shows that cancer deaths have continuously declined for 26 straight years
President Donald Trump seemed to assert this week that his administration was behind a reported decline in cancer deaths, but the American Cancer Society pushed back.
Trump, 73, claimed in a tweet Thursday morning that there was “a lot of good news coming out of this Administration,” referring to a new report that shows cancer deaths declined in 2017, his first year in office.
That report, released Wednesday by the American Cancer Society, states that cancer deaths have continuously declined for 26 straight years beginning in 1991, falling by 29 percent from that year through 2017.
“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,” American Cancer Society CEO Gary Reedy said in a statement, according to CNN.
The American Cancer Society report points out that the 29 percent drop in cancer deaths since 1991 is largely due to declines in lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer deaths — which the organization calls the four leading cancers.
The report also added that 1,806,590 new cancer cases and 606,520 cancer deaths are expected to occur in the United States this year.
According to CNN, Reedy said President Trump has signed spending bills into law that have increased funding for cancer research, “though the impact of those increases are not reflected in the data contained in this report.”
Reedy also noted that Trump has the chance to do more.
“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,” Reedy said.
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz tweeted back at Trump and pointed out that cancer rates had been dropping long before he took office.
“Hopefully they keep dropping because Congress rejected your cruel research budgets, which sought billions in CUTS to (the National Institutes of Health) and the National Cancer Institute,” she wrote. “This is good news despite you — not because of you.”