WASHINGTON - It has been a little more than six months since Vice President Joe Biden announced he would not go after the Democratic nomination for the presidency. FOX 5 asked Biden whether he regrets that decision and how close we are to a cure for cancer. We also talked about his son, Beau, who died a year ago.
Back on October 21, Biden announced he would not run for president. But he made a promise.
"I believe we need a moonshot in this country to cure cancer,” he said at the Rose Garden of the White House with his wife, Jill, and President Barack Obama standing next to him. “It's personal.”
It had been less than five months since he had lost his son to brain cancer. Biden said he would push over the next 15 months in office to try to silence cancer once and for all.
"If I could be anything, I would have wanted to be the president that ended cancer because it's possible,” said Biden last year.
But does Biden regret not running for the White House?
“As you know, I had planned on running,” he told FOX 5. “But also, we had, like a lot of families, the misfortune of having a son who was diagnosed essentially with a death sentence two years earlier with a particular type of cancer that he had. At the time, when I really had to make a decision to cut or stay in, the family wasn't ready and I wasn't ready.”
What he was ready to do was pour himself into learning everything about what killed his child so he might help others.
The vice president has been on a rigorous schedule meeting with leading researchers and doctors to demystify cancer. What he has found is many of the industry's best and brightest have not been working together.
“I really believe with breaking down silos, breaking down the unwillingness to share data, we can do in five years what would otherwise take ten years, and we are on the cusp of some major breakthroughs,” said Biden.
As he works for a cure, Biden said Beau is never forgotten.
“He is always on my mind,” the vice president said. “I'm not kidding when I say always. My screensaver on my phone, I now have Beau's picture with my grandson so I force myself to look at it every day and to try to get me to just deal with it publicly."
Biden added, “A better man might be able to do it better than I have been, but Beau, he was my soul.”
May 30 marks one year since Beau's death. The Biden family will come together as the Delaware National Guard will name their facility after Major Beau Biden.
“Bad things happen to a lot of people without the kind of help I've got,” he said. “It's all good and we are sticking together as a family … and we have each other and Beau is always there.”
The vice president told us one of the things he admires so much about cancer survivors or any survivor for that matter is how they show up on anniversaries and speak out about changes. That is what he intends to do.
Biden is not saying exactly what he will do after he leaves the White House. But he has told friends he has no plans to retire in the traditional sense.