Dr. Victor Sidel’s Metronome

Dr. Victor Sidel, public heath champion, is dead at the age of 86. An excerpt from his obituary is below:

In speeches beginning in the mid-1980s, Dr. Sidel used a metronome to stress what he described as the imbalance between worldwide spending on arms and health care. With the metronome set at one beat a second, Dr. Sidel explained that with every beat, a child died or was permanently disabled by a preventable illness, while $25,000 was spent on weaponry.

“Tiny fractions of that spending could, of course, produce remarkable changes in health,” he told the American Public Health Association in Washington in 1985, when he was its president. “The cost of one half-day of world arms spending could pay for the full immunization of all the children in the world against the common infectious diseases.”

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