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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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It shows how, in June of ‘56, we broke the barrier of a niggardly attitude toward medical research and began to really roll it to get some substantial funds, and the story of how this was done is what I'd like to finish.


At that point you had leadership in the Administration itself and sympathy in the Senate and in the House.


Yes, Republicans as well as Democrats. It's the first time we really had anything going.

Even in President Eisenhower's State of the Union Message be said he was going to recommend more funds for medical research and for medical care, and he stated that he was going to send a separate message on health. For the first time on the radio his statements about medical research were featured in news broadcasts on the State of the Union speech. Heretofore, health had never been considered especially newsworthy as far as a Presidential message went.


Did his heart attack have direct bearing on this, too?


Yes, we thought so. We felt that the press was interested. The only time before that health had been considered newsworthy in connection with any President was when Truman espoused health insurance. Then it was made newsworthy only by the American Medical Association, who bitterly opposed

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