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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Q:

Has the President's attitude improved since that interview?

Lasker:

I think it has. I think it has because his sister has been very active about getting funds and interest in the field of mental retardation. His father's illness, I think, has been a grave shock to him. And Feldman and Sorenson--Feldman was always sympathetic but Sorenson wasn't at all sympathetic and Mrs. Mahoney has become a great friend of Sorenson's and has talked to him a lot about health and has introduced him to a lot of doctors--I think are more sympathetic than they were at that time.

However, I will tell you what I did in '62. In January, '62 we were anxious to have evidence that medical schools and research centers needed more funds to use in testimony. So I phoned Senator Hill about January 6th and asked him to have Herman Downey, the clerk of his subcommittee, send out questionnaires to all research centers and medical schools requesting data on their research needs in order to counter the Administration's 1963 budget, which was under what the Senate had voted for fiscal '62. The Senate had voted 835 million for fiscal '62 for the Institutes of Health, but the Administration proposed a budget for fiscal '63 for only 780 million. Hill ordered Herman Downey to go forward with this plan, and it was found that the total needs were around 900 million dollars. However, as far as I know, this questionnaire was never effectively used. The Public Health Service tried to brush the results under the rug. Why, I don't know. It's just mysterious. Of course, they were



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