President Biden's visit at the JFK Presidential Library

Dozens of people crowd in front of the JFK Library to see President Joe Biden’s motorcade as it leaves the UMass Boston campus on Monday Sep. 12, 2022.

On Sept. 12, President Joseph Biden delivered a speech at the JFK Presidential Library, nearly 60 years after JFK pledged to put a man on the moon, to announce his landmark initiative: The complete termination of cancer.

President Biden proclaimed, “This cancer moonshot is one of the reasons why I ran for president.” He expounded that “Cancer does not discriminate red and blue. It doesn’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. Beating cancer is something we can do together.”

Preceding the speech, the White House publicized that Dr. Renee Wegrzyn would be the first leader of the newly created agency, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. Biden authorized the creation of this agency in February in order to augment the U.S. government’s ability to establish health and biomedical research.

Before his speech at JFK Presidential Library, Biden gave an address at Boston Logan Airport. Terminal E of Logan Airport, serving international flight services, is undergoing a significant revamping project requiring millions of dollars. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill of November 2021, an additional $62 million was awarded for the project. “Through the infrastructure law, we’re investing $62 million here at Logan—the largest grant for airport terminals in the country thus far, and one of the largest federal investments in airports ever. It's the most significant investment since President Eisenhower's interstate highway system,” said Biden in his speech at the Logan Airport.

Massport thanked Biden, senators and other federal members for supporting the Terminal E Modernization Project, which will enhance passenger service, install new electric passenger boarding bridges and regulate traffic flow in a more organized manner.

UMass Boston, in the vicinity of JFK Presidential Library, went remote on Monday, Aug. 12. Classes and campus operations were remote. Students, faculty members and other staff were not advised to commute for security and traffic-related issues. Dining services for the students living in the residential halls were still regularly operating, though.

Despite the significance of Biden’s visit, not many students on campus were in favor of the remote campus. The Mass Media reached out to a few students to get their views on the institution’s decision.

“Personally, I was a bit disappointed in President Biden’s visit. He made a point in his speech to thank all the students who came, but the only students I know were invited were the Undergraduate Student Government President and Vice President. I wouldn’t mind that much if he had just taken the time to give us a wave when he was leaving, but he didn’t even do that. When the motorcade was driving away, he didn’t even acknowledge all the students who had come out. Combine his lack of acknowledgment with the fact that the entire campus had to shut down to accommodate his visit, and it just left a really bad taste in my mouth,” said a student at UMass Boston.

The Mass Media also reached out to the Undergraduate Student Government President Dhruv Naik, asking him about his presence at the event. “I enjoyed my time at the event. President Biden assured us that he would work on reducing the number of cancer deaths by 50 percent in the coming year. However, I was disappointed about the fact that UMass students weren’t allowed to attend the event despite it being in the vicinity of the campus,” Naik replied.

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