Letter to Secretary Cohen Concerning the Appointment of Dr. Robert Marston as Director, National Institutes of Health.
As you know so well, I am deeply interested in the future of the National Institutes of Health. It is my hope that the great base of research and education we have built there will be the foundation for ever-healthier lives for the people of America.
For this reason, I was glad to meet yesterday with you and Dr. Robert Marston, and I am delighted that he has agreed to accept the challenge of heading NIH in the future.
He will face a staggering job. Not only our nation, but the entire world, needs the rescue from death and disability medical research promises.
Since 1940, as a result of medical progress, more than seven years have been added to the average life span of American citizens. Diseases once thought hopeless are now treatable and curable--because of work supported by NIH.
But still there are "hopeless" health problems which have not yielded fully to the energy and genius of medical researchers. I am urging the scientific and medical community to tackle these problems anew--in a great effort to cut the death rate from serious diseases 10 percent by 1976, when we celebrate our nation's 200th anniversary. Dr. Marston's leadership, I hope, will contribute mightily to that goal.
It was good to see you yesterday. I wish you and Dr. Marston well as you help to fulfill the government's responsibility to put health research and medical progress at the service of all the people.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
[Honorable Wilbur J. Cohen, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C.]
Note: The President's letter was released at San Antonio, Texas, together with Secretary Cohen's reply, which is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 4, p. 1116).
Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to Secretary Cohen Concerning the Appointment of Dr. Robert Marston as Director, National Institutes of Health. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/237980