Trump Takes Credit For Declining Cancer Rates, The American Cancer Society Shuts Him Down

by Julie Scagell
Drew Angerer/Getty

Even though he took office in 2017, Trump takes credit for 26 years of cancer rates declining

Donald Trump has claimed a lot of things in his three years as President — fixing the economy, that Mexico will pay for the wall, that Colorado now borders Mexico, and world record-breaking numbers at his rallies. So, naturally, when a report was issued recently about cancer rates falling in the U.S., Trump jumped on the bandwagon insinuating his administration was responsible. M’ kay.

That’s right, folks. Donald Trump has done what no other scientist, doctor, or researcher has done before him — found a way to reduce cancer rates. In a tweet on Thursday, Trump wrote, “U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest In Recorded History! A lot of good news coming out of this Administration.” The American Cancer Society, however, didn’t agree.

The American Cancer Society released a report this week, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, stating that the rate of people dying from cancer in the United States declined in 2017 (for the 26th year in a row). For what it’s worth, Trump took office in January 2017. The report said in part that the cancer death rate has fallen “continuously” from 1991 through 2017, with 2016-17 seeing the largest drop, a 2.2 percent decline which happened in large part due to lung cancer rates dropping.

Gary M. Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said the findings are not connected in any way to the Trump administration. “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,” Reedy told CNN. “Since taking office, the president has signed multiple spending bills that have included increases in funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute — though the impact of those increases are not reflected in the data contained in this report.”

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz responded to Trump on Twitter, saying, “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.”

In fact, Trump announced cuts to cancer research funding in March 2017, shortly after taking office as a part of a “skinny budget” which cut biomedical and science funding.

Though Trump seems to continue to take credit in things he has absolutely nothing to do with, the significance of this report shouldn’t be overlooked. “Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide,” the report stated, “and is the second leading cause of death in the United States…Declines in smoking, as well as improvements in early detection and treatment, have resulted in a continuous decline in the cancer death rate since its peak of 215.1 deaths (per 100,000 population) in 1991.”