US President Joe Biden told a room full of supporters on November 1 that he ‘spoke’ with the man who “invented” insulin. Addressing his supporters at Hallandale Beach, Florida, the US President claimed that the ‘inventor’ of Insulin never patented it because he wanted it to be available to the masses, reported Sky News. Biden’s remark came during a speech to gain support for the Democratic Party as the US mid-term elections are closing in.
Touting his administration’s efforts to lower healthcare costs for American citizens, President Biden asked, “How many of you know somebody with diabetes, and needs insulin?”
Biden further enquired whether the crowd knew how much it costs to make Insulin. He added, “It was invented by a man who did not patent it because he wanted it available for everyone. I spoke to him, OK?” reported Sky News.
Insulin was ‘discovered’ not ‘invented’
One fundamental mistake made by US President Joe Biden during his speech was the disregard for the fact that Insulin was discovered rather than invented. It was Dr Frederick Banting and Professor John James Richard Macleod who discovered Insulin in 1921 and were subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1923 for that accomplishment. Meanwhile, another contradiction to Biden’s statement is the fact that he was born in November 1942, 21 years after the discovery of Insulin. Moreover, Dr Frederick Banting died at the age of 49 on 21 February 1941, a year before Biden’s birth.
Another important aspect to be noted is that Dr Banting refused to put his name on the insulin patent because according to him, it was unethical to do so as a physician. Banting had cited his Hippocratic oath as the reason. Professor Macleod had also declined to be named on the patent.
However, it can be considered that President Biden may have been referring to the other two individuals who were named on the Insulin Patent. According to Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, an independent journal, the other two individuals were James B Collip and Charles Best. Biden’s confusing remarks came during his speech about his administration’s Inflation Reduction Act and the effect it will have on those on Social Security and Medicare.