U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, Jan. 12, 2016. Reuters

President Barack Obama wants America to cure cancer. Obama said he would take up Vice President Joe Biden's call to end cancer Tuesday during his final State of the Union address.

"Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer. Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources they’ve had in over a decade. Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done," Obama said during his speech. "And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control. For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all."

After seven years in office that began with a campaign that promised both hope and change, Obama continued to call for a united nation during his televised address, promising Americans that "opportunity and security for our families" and a "peaceful planet for our kids" were all within reach if partisan politics could be left aside.

Before his speech, Obama made a brief appearance on Facebook in a video that showed him making last-minute changes to the address. The White House also grappled with an international crisis in the Persian Gulf after Iran arrested 10 sailors aboard two U.S. Navy boats for sailing into Iranian territorial waters.

Biden's son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer last year. Hours before the State of the Union speech Tuesday, a group of biotech companies, drugmakers, doctors and researchers formally announced a coalition called the Cancer MoonShot 2020.