The Michael E. DeBakey Page

Longtime Lasker associate Michael DeBakey and his co-author at Baylor, the late anti-smoker and ASH member Joseph L. Melnick, knew as early as 1984 that cytomegalovirus (CMV) played a role in heart disease - but chose not to enlighten the public.

DeBakey studies on CMV / PubMed

DeBakey got his MD at Tulane University in New Orleans. He did his internship under Dr. Alton Ochsner, of the early lung cancer study fame. In 1935 and 1936 he studied at the University of Strasbourg under Prof. Rene Leriche, and at the University of Heidelberg under Prof. Martin Kirschner, then returned to Ochsner's department at Tulane from 1937 to 1948. He was did military service in the Office of the Surgeon General as director of the Surgical Consultants' Division from 1942-46. He joined Baylor in 1948, and was chairman of the Department of Surgery until 1993. He was the president of Baylor College from 1969 to 1979 and chancellor from 1978 until 1996, when he became chancellor emeritus. "He was a member of the Hoover Commission, and was chairman of the President's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke during the Johnson administration," and also served "an unprecedented three terms on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health."

DeBakey Biography / Texas Medical Center
DeBakey Bio / Foundation for Biological Research

Psychological warfare researcher Robert K. Merton was Associate Professor, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sociology at Tulane University from 1939 to 1941, before moving to Columbia University to become Associate Director of the Rockefeller-founded (and CIA/USIA funded) Bureau of Applied Social Research.

Primary Bronchogenic Carcinoma. An Analysis of 190 Cases, 58 of Which Were Successfully Treated by Pneumonectomy, with a Review of the Literature. Alton Ochsner, J. Leonard Dixon, Michael DeBakey. Clinics 1945;111(5):1187-1245.

Ochsner, Dixon & DeBakey, 1945 / UCSF (pdf, 13 pp)

Lobbying for Medicare

DeBakey was a member of the Physicians Committee for Health Care for the Aged Through Social Security. "The Physicians Committee was founded in Washington D.C. on March 27, 1962 by 29 doctors to lobby for health insurance for the elderly financed through social security. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn was chairman and Mrs. Genevieve Goldy and later Mrs. Vera Mayer were executive directors. The Committee's lobbying activities consisted of soliciting support from doctors and congressmen, distributing 45,000 pamphlets, testifying before congressional committees and seeking newspaper, radio and television publicity. The Committee disbanded after the passage of Medicare is July 1965." (Papers of Physicians Committee for Health Care for the Aged Through Social Security. Social Security Administration, accessed 04-09-06.) Other members of the organization included Dr. Martin Cherkasky, Leona Baumgartner, and Philip R. Lee. (Memo from Harry R. Hinton of the American Medical Association, to Earle Clements of the Tobacco Institute, re Physicians Committee for Health Care for the Aged Through Social Security- 1962, and their current positions; May 22, 1969.) Medicare is the government program that made cardiologists rich. It was the single largest cause of the steady increase in health care costs which began in 1965.

Papers of the Physicians Committee for Health Care for the Aged Through Social Security / Social Security Administration
Harry R. Hinton to Earle C. Clements, May 22, 1969 / UCSF (pdf, 4 pp)

"Heading a group known as something out of a stuttering linotype machine with the initials PCHCATSS (standing for The Physicians Committee for Health Care for the Aged Through Social Security), Dr. Esseltyn found White House doors magically opened for him and other doctors who showed up and read a statement signed by a total of 40 MD's. One may suspect that the doors did not magically open, but rather that the committee itself was magically created to move through a door ready and waiting for just this sort of presentment... The Esseltyn group of PCHCATSS is the perfect example in this modern day and age of how to create a paper committee without many of the men who will be on the letterhead later knowing really what it is they are asked to do." (Lesson in Leadership, by Dr. Peter Carl Graffagnino. The Bulletin of the Muscogee County (Georgia) Medical Society, "The Doctor's Lounge", Jul 1962, Vol. IX No.7, p.15.) His son is Caldwell Blakeman Esselstyn Jr., Skull & Bones, 1956.

The Doctors' Lounge, July 1962 /

More Lobbying

Ad Hoc Committee on Nation's Health Crisis brought Michael E. DeBakey, MD, Baylor U., & Sidney Farber, MD, Harvard to Washington to lobby for more medical research funds. Both addressed news conference, attended one of Mrs. Mary Lasker's fashionable dinners to which key legislators, other influentials were invited & attended Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards luncheon." (Medical News Report 1969 Nov;1(11):4.)

Medical News Report, 1969 / UCSF (pdf, 4 pp)

DeBakey and Russel V. Lee were on the Advisory Board of Medical World News in 1978.

Medical World News, 1978 / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

Interview with DeBakey from the LBJ Presidential Library by David McComb, June 29, 1969. DeBakey credits Mary Lasker as the impetus behind Johnson's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer and Stroke. And, "Whenever Mrs. Lasker would call me to ask me to do certain things, I would drop what I was doing to do it. That's how persuasive they [she and Lady Bird Johnson] were." The Commission promoted the legislation for the Regional Medical Programs, where the Office on Smoking and Health was first established.

DeBakey Interview / NIH Profiles (pdf, 53pp)

A 2000 interview with Michael DeBakey by toady Richard Cohen, former CBS News Senior Producer, on Mary Lasker's leading role in manipulating Congress to hand over our tax dollars to her clique. What is never admitted is that these people used our money to reinforce their own health fascist preconceptions about diet and exercise and smoking and chemicals, while stifling research on the role of infection in cancer and other chronic diseases.

DeBakey Interview / Lasker Foundation

DeBakey was a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Committee on Quality Health Care. "Commitee President David Winston is a powerful force within the organization. He was one of the founding members of the Committee and because of his extensive background in health policy issues and close connections with the White House, commands a great deal of respect. Winston served as health policy advisor to Reagan in California and in Washington. He was a minority staff director of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources." David A. Winston was vice president of American Health Capital Inc. Karl D. Bays, Chairman and CEO American Hospital Supply Corp.; Theodore Cooper, M.D. Vice President Upjohn Company; and Winfield C. Dunn, D.D.S. Senior Vice President Hospital Corporation of America were also trustees. (Memo from Rick Sullivan to Pete Sparber, Oct. 30, 1984.)

Sullivan to Sparber, 1984 / UCSF (pdf, 17 pp)

2002 Board of Directors of Friends of the National Library of Medicine: Longtime Lasker ally former Rep. Paul G. Rogers is chaiman. Other board members: Former Assistant Secretary for Health Edward N. Brandt Jr.; former HEW chief Joseph A. Califano Jr.; Lois DeBakey; Mary Lasker's crony Michael E. DeBakey; Mary's nephew, James Fordyce; her friend, Frances Humphrey Howard; Joshua Lederberg; Gilbert Omenn's mentor, Robert G. Petersdorf; Former Surgeons General Julius B. Richmond and Louis W. Sullivan; John Whitehead of Research!America; Susan Whitehead; and Mary Woolley, President of Research!America.

Board of Directors / Friends of the National Library of Medicine

Joseph L. Melnick

Melnick was a member of Benjamin Bannaker's Leukemia Section of the Special Virus Cancer Program of the National Cancer Institute.

Melnick was a longtime sponsor of anti-smoker lawyer John Banzhaf's group, ASH. The group was created to manufacture hate propaganda after Newton Minow stacked the Federal Communications Commission with cronies from the Ford Foundation, who delivered the infamous "Fairness Doctrine" ruling to subsidize the anti-smokers.

Kloepfer memo, March 13, 1968 / UCSF (pdf, 3 pp)

John Banzhaf's letter to the Federal Trade Commission, Sep. 20, 1977, with a list of Trustees and Sponsors, including Melnick et al.

Banzhaf - ASH letter, 1977 / UCSF (pdf, 2 pp)
Smoking and Health Review, May 1985 / UCSF (pdf, 16 pp)

Melnick was a member of the National Advisory Cancer Council from 1969 to 1971. ([Members of the President's Cancer Panel, 1976, and National Advisory Cancer Council, 1957-71] J Natl Cancer Inst 1977 Aug;59(2suppl):763.)

President's Cancer Panel - J Natl Cancer Inst 1977 / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

The National Cancer Plan, 1971

Forty scientists were invited to a previously unscheduled Airlie House session on the National Cancer Plan, Nov. 19, 1971. Clustered in the section on "Identification of external agents, carcinogens; focusing on preventing the agents from reaching the body or blocking them after ingestion" were Joseph Melnick; Ernst Wynder, head of the American Health Foundation; former TIRC/CTR Scientific Advisory Board member Paul Kotin; and two from the University of Wisconsin's McArdle Lab, Harold Rusch and James Miller, whose interest was in diet and cancer. Arthur Upton, future Director of the National Cancer Institute, was in the section on "Modification of the individual; alteration of host functions, possibly by vaccines." Plus: "EDITORS' NOTE: Three of the nation's foremost politicians, the President, Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Rogers (D-Fla.) have personal, vested interests in the outcome of current cancer research legislation. Top ranking NIH and Assn. of American Medical Colleges execs have opposed the powerul Mary Lasker biomedical research lobby in a struggle which could irreversibly alter the structure of NIH. See story on p. 11 for latest developments." (Drug Research Reports 1971 Nov. 10;14(45):18-20.) Melnick, Kotin, Rusch and Wynder were members of the Panel of Objective 1, 1972, which was to persecute tobacco users.

Airlie House Nov. 19, 1971 / UCSF (pdf, 3 pp)

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cast 02-16-08