In 1996, actor Christopher Reeve, paralyzed in a riding accident a year earlier, began lobbying for more research into spinal
cord injury. He got President Clinton to request $10 million of the NIH budget for this area, and several months later gave
this speech to the Democratic National Convention. Varmus had visited Reeve in Bedford, NY several weeks earlier to help him
write this address, which called on the politicians to address the needs of disabled Americans, especially by funding research
into the causes and cures for disabling conditions. He noted that the government spends nearly $9 billion per year maintaining
people with spinal cord injuries, but only $40 million on research that would help or even cure them.
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2 (77,555 Bytes)
1996-08-28 (August 28, 1996)
National Institutes of Health. Office of the Director
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Basic Science and Congressional Politics: NIH Director, 1993-1999