Medicine: Porto Ricochet

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''Porto Ricans . . . are beyond doubt the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever inhabiting this sphere. What the island needs is not public health work but a tidal wave or something to totally exterminate the population. It might then be livable. I have done my best to further the process of extermination by killing off 8."

Late one night last November young Dr. Cornelius Packard ("Dusty") Rhoads of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Re-search returned to his quarters at San Juan, Porto Rico, and found that someone had stolen a cushion and some accessories from the motorcar he used. After six wearing months of treating balky Puertorriquenos for pernicious anemia (his research Arbeit), after again that evening giving his blood (six quarts in all) to anemic natives, Dr. Rhoads lost his temper. To work off his anger he wrote a personal letter which included the above quotation. That made him feel better. So he threw the note among his waste papers and went to bed.

Next morning one Luis Baldoni, young Puertorriqueno working for the Rockefeller staff at San Juan, found the discarded note, ran with it to Pedro Albizu y Campos, president of the Nationalist Party of Porto Rico. That shrewd politico at once ordered photostatic copies of the letter. A political struggle for control of the island legislature was on, and here was a mighty club to wield. Natives might be made to believe that the Yanquis were plotting to kill them all. At any rate the point was worth clamoring about.

Last month Politico Albizu y Campos struck. Local newspapers printed fac similes of the letter. For those unable to read English, there were translations into Spanish. Every third Puertorriqueno is il literate. To such, spellbinders read the horrendous tidings. The Pope in Vatican City received a photostat of the holograph.

With the insular legislature about to begin its quarrelsome session last week, newly appointed Governor James Rumsey Beverley ordered an investigation. In charge were Ramon Quinones; Dr. Ed-wardo Garrido Morales, representing the insular health department; and Dr. Pablo Morales y Otero, representing the Medical Association of Porto Rico. Dr. George Calvin Payne, resident representative of the Rockefeller Foundation, stood by with Dr. William Bosworth Castle, Dr. Rhoads' immediate associate in the pernicious anemia research. Dozens of Puertorri quenos testified that Dr. Rhoads had saved their lives, had given them his own blood.

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