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March 12, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(11):715. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490560025014

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Boards and departments of health are generally supposed to be institutions for the protection of the public against disease and not merely political machines. This fact is recognized in some municipalities, but unfortunately not in all, as some recent experiences demonstrate. The San Francisco Board of Health, during the Gage administration in California, was a body of officials in whom the people of the country had confidence as a defense against a possible epidemic of plague and its extension from the focus that existed in the city under its sanitary control. Now matters have changed; the present mayor has at last succeeded in changing the whole personnel of the board, supplanting the former members by those who can be expected to be more subservient to his commands regardless of their duty as conservators of the public health. As an evidence of what they are willing to do at his behest,

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