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October 14, 1916


JAMA. 1916;LXVII(16):1165. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590160043017

There is nothing more discouraging to a sincere worker than the realization that, because of meager information, or misinformation, his honest efforts may be misdirected. Certainly the authorities attempting to control the recent poliomyelitis epidemic have been conscious of this. To some degree, indeed, all workers for health preservation find a constant source of discouragement in the lack of accurate data on relative values in public health work. In view of the fact that from a fourth to a third of the deaths which occur in continental United States each year are preventable, no public health official can fail to realize that mistaken judgment on his part in the expenditure of the insufficient funds entrusted to him may mean lives needlessly lost. He has to face the problem of inadequate funds and possible political pressure for the misuse of those funds. Still more grave is the danger that, no matter