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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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States. The testimony came from people in the Selective Service and others who pointed out that the rejection rate for people entering the armed services was about 40 percent, due to inadequate medical care, lack of treatment and cures due to insufficient medical research. People had a variety of things, including tuberculosis, which was then not easily curable.

That evening, Dr. Cornelius Rhodes, then a colonel in the Army and the head of the Chemical Warfare Services, and on leave from Memorial Hospital, dined with Florence and me. We explained to him that we were anxious to secure legislation for medical research in the United States, but that we needed a competent medical authority to go with us and explain this need to Senator Pepper, because Senator Pepper thought we were very nice but what did we know about the need for medical research; we certainly weren't doctors.

Rhodes resisted the idea that Federal funds should be made available for civilian medical problems, but by the time we finished. . .


On what basis?


Well, it was just a new idea to him.


And didn't seem practical.


No, he just had never heard of it; it was unheard of.

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