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December 6, 1963 - Interview No. 25 - New York City

Lasker:

Between '52 and early '55 Florence Mahoney and I worked on appropriations for medical research and some other health legislation. We did not have any friends in the White House, as Mr. Eisenhower's staff were not particularly interested in liberal Democrats. And we never went into the White House from '52 until 1961, when the new President was inaugurated.

Q:

Did you attempt to make some contacts there?

Lasker:

Well, we did through the President's doctor, when we felt that the President might veto an especially large increase in medical research appropriations. We did on several occasions attempt to get in touch with Dr. Snyder, Eisenhower's personal physician, and he did meet with us several times and was sympathetic to more funds for medical research. He was really the only one that we were in touch with at all, but that relationship was rather tenuous, and I never knew how much he actually told the President after he had lunch with us. He lunched with Anna Rosenberg and me once or twice, but I never was sure how effective he was going to be or really how much effort he was going to make, although he was in principle sympathetic.

Q:

It seems almost incredible, with all your multitude of friends, that you weren't able to reach somebody on the staff.



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