Statement of the President on Signing the Public Health Service Act.
The Public Health Service Act is an important step toward the goal of better national health. A constituent of the Federal Security Agency since 1939, the U.S. Public Health Service is one of the oldest Federal agencies—and one in which the people have great confidence because of its excellent record in protecting the health of the Nation.
The Act signed today gives authority to make grants-in-aid for research to public or private institutions for investigations in any field related to the public health. It authorizes increased appropriations for grants to the States for general public health work. It strengthens the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service for the enormous tasks of the war and the peace to come. Authority is granted to commission the nurses of the Public Health Service, just as the nurses of the Army and the Navy are commissioned.
It provides for the establishment of a national tuberculosis program in the Public Health Service. Since adequate public health facilities must be organized on a nationwide scale, it is proper that the Federal Government should exercise responsibility of leadership and assistance to the States.
In establishing a national program of war and postwar prevention, we will be making as sound an investment as any Government can make; the dividends are payable in human life and health.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Statement of the President on Signing the Public Health Service Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/210871