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Foreign News: Underfed

2 minute read

Medical men have long expected widespread disease among the undernourished population of Leftist Spain. Last week their fears were realized. From half-fed, unheated Madrid came word that 40,000 inhabitants of that city of siege were suffering from pellagra, caused by malnutrition, which results in mouth and skin inflammations. Common in the U. S. South, where there is often a restricted diet of salt pork, corn meal and molasses, pellagra is caused by a lack of those vitamins found in fresh meat, milk and vegetables.

Last week a U. S. ship, the Erica Reed, with the Stars & Stripes painted on her sides, sailed from New York for Leftist Spain, her hull bulging with 11,000,000 lb. of foodstuffs contributed by Leftist sympathizers. Perhaps the most precious part of her cargo was a 26-pound package of nicotinic acid (270,000 doses), the recently developed cure for pellagra. This gift, addressed to Leftist Premier Dr. Juan Negrin, himself a well-known physiologist, was sent by 39 U. S. scientists, including three Nobel Prizewinners.

The Erica Reed is due to make the Leftist Mediterranean ports next week, Generalissimo Francisco Franco’s bombers and navy permitting. Shuttling somewhere between Villefranche, Tangier, Gibraltar and Naples were two U. S. destroyers and a light cruiser, which might possibly in some emergencies have something to say about interference.

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