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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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--a new scope had been given to the size of the operation of the Institutes of Health. Certainly Lister Hill used her--she did get some Republican sponsors of her bill--and the sponsors of her bill to get substantial higher appropriations not only for the Institutes but to help in passing the bill for Aid to Medical School Construction. ‘56 was really the beginning of a new dawn for human health and well being as the result of the activities and combination of new sympathy for research in the Congress and in the office of the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

I think that the heart attack of the President did much to shock the Senators and also the fact that Lyndon Johnson had a heart attack during the summer brought the Democrats to a realization that no one is immune and that something should be done on a more sizable scale. All I can say is thank God. At last the wheel of fortune is turning and it looks as though the tide were running in favor of the human race, at least as its chances for peacetime survival go.

Q:

Well, it always takes something like that to dramatize it, doesn't it, like the President's heart attack?

Lasker:

Yes.

I thought I might do the ‘57 appropriations, because that was really the triumph of the thing, if you have time.



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