The East Room

“If you don’t have an idea that materializes and changes a person’s life, then what have you got? …You have talk, research, telephone calls, meetings, but you don’t have a change in the community.” Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
Maria, you live your mother’s words purely, lovingly, and relentlessly. Thank you for your life’s work and for being an amazing partner on this effort.
Good morning.
In the early 1970s, researchers in the U.S. studied estrogen’s effect in preventing heart attacks.
You see, it was observed that women who had gone through menopause – therefore, who had lower levels of estrogen – were more likely to have heart attacks.
So, a study was conducted asking whether estrogen prevents heart attacks.
8,341 people were selected for that study.
All of them men!
This is how things were done.
Even though women are half the population, women’s health research has been underfunded and understudied.
Too many of our medications, treatments, and medical school textbooks are based on men and their bodies.
But that ends today.
Finally! Women will get the health care we deserve.
In just a few moments, my husband, President Biden, will sign the most comprehensive executive order in history to advance research on women’s health.
On behalf of all of us, thank you, Joe.
If you ask any woman in America about her health care, she probably has a story to tell.
You know her.
She’s the woman who gets debilitating migraines, but doesn’t know why, and can’t find treatment options that work for her.
She’s the woman going through menopause, who visits her doctor and leaves with more questions than answers, even though half the country will go through menopause at some point in their lives.
She’s the woman whose heart attack isn’t recognized because her symptoms don’t look like a man’s, even as heart disease is the leading cause of death among women.
So many of us – and so many of the women in our lives – suffer from health conditions for which we simply don’t have answers or solutions.
Think about it: you might have the best doctors, or the best insurance.
But when it comes to Alzheimer’s, Endometriosis, IBS, or disruptive menopausal symptoms, is that enough?
We simply don’t know enough about how to prevent, detect, and treat the conditions that affect women uniquely, disproportionately, or differently.
And that’s the result of a choice: Because, for decades, “business as usual” has meant understudying and underfunding research on women’s health.
Your President believes this is unacceptable.
When Maria brought this issue to me and Joe less than a year ago, he knew he could make a real difference.
That’s what Joe does best: he takes action – and quickly.
Joe is the first President to make investing in women’s health research – investing in your health, in our health – a top White House priority.
It’s no secret that Joe’s accomplishments on health care are historic.
You’ve heard about his successes: reducing health care premiums and prescription drug costs, protecting millions of patients from surprise medical bills and junk fees, and getting more Americans covered by insurance.
But it’s important you know that what Joe is doing through his White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research is different and without precedent.
He is investing resources into actually understanding the scientific basis of women’s health conditions – which will allow researchers, doctors, and industry to find new ways to prevent, detect, and treat women’s health.
Thanks to Joe’s experience and vision, he’s approaching this problem differently, too.
As President, Joe created ARPA-H, a new health care agency that pursues breakthroughs in health research at lightning speed.
Just a few weeks ago, ARPA-H launched its first-ever “sprint” for women’s health, putting $100 million into women’s health research and development.
During his State of the Union address earlier this month, Joe called on Congress to invest $12 billion into women’s health research, giving researchers the funding needed to make the kinds of discoveries that will change everything.
And he’s calling on entrepreneurs, investors, private industry, and philanthropists to do their part – because it’s going to take all of us.
Joe is fighting to finally deliver the answers that millions of women need about their health.
This Executive Order wouldn’t be possible without so many women who have been at this work for decades. Many of them doctors who are here with us today – including Susan, Valerie, Carolyn, and so many others.
So today, as we celebrate Women’s History Month, let’s write a new future for ourselves, and for the girls and women who will follow.
A future where women leave doctors’ offices with more answers than questions.
A future where no woman or girl has to hear that, “it’s all in your head,” or “it’s just stress.”
A future where women aren’t just an after-thought in a world designed for men, but the first thought in a world designed for everyone.
A future where women don’t just survive, they lead long, healthy, and happy lives. 
Today is only the beginning.
Thank you.
And now it is my honor to introduce a person who is helping make this future a reality: my husband, the President of the United States, Joe Biden.


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