By the President of the United States of America
The medical challenge which the disease lupus erythematosus presents is the subject of many research projects in hospitals and medical centers throughout the United States. The disease most often strikes during its victims' most active and productive years, and can affect many organs of the body with inflammation and changes in structure and function.
The cause of lupus still eludes investigators, but promising leads into its relationship to the immune system, as well as to other factors, may yield new understanding of the origin of this chronic inflammatory disease, which afflicts an estimated fifty thousand new victims annually.
The Federal Government is supporting an aggressive program of research into the cause and treatment of lupus, which, it is hoped, will ultimately lead to its prevention or control. Genetic studies suggesting the role of heredity in the occurrence of lupus have begun to provide important information. The study of immunity, the body's ability to resist disease, is now pointing the way to an understanding of the relationship to lupus of abnormal immune reactions of the body. Although a cure must await further knowledge of the basic cause, presently available forms of treatment can frequently delay the often grave consequences of the disease.
In recognition of the seriousness of lupus and America's commitment to its control, the Congress, by joint resolution approved July 25, 1977, has requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the week of September 18 through 24, 1977, as National Lupus Week and calling for its appropriate observance.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week of September 18 through 24, 1977, as National Lupus Week. I invite the Governors of the several States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the chief officials of local governments, the medical profession, and the people of the United States to observe that week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and second.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:42 p.m., August 31, 1977]