Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Polio eradiction dream defered.


The world is closer to eradicating polio (The Polio Endgame, Washington Post editorial 6-11-12)  but we’ve been close now for over a decade.  In fact, it was targeted in 1990 to be eradicated by the year 2000.  Then 2003.  Now?…When we get around to it.  
There are several serious problems with this lackadaisical strategy.    

First, the polio virus is a moving target.  If it mutates to a degree that the current vaccine doesn’t work, all the work done so far will be wasted, and the campaign would need to start from scratch. 
 
Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only nations still harboring this viral terrorist but each of these nations have significant barriers to vaccine campaign cooperation.  Too many African’s still believe vaccines are a white man’s means of sterilizing blacks to prevent over population.   Immunization campaigns in Pakistan are now hampered by the CIA’s recent use of an undercover agent in a legitimate vaccination campaign in hope of finding DNA evidence of Osama Bin Ladin’s presence there. 
Afghanistan?  No explanation needed there.  And all it takes is just one region of Afghanistan, Pakistan or Nigeria to reject polio vaccination efforts for the virus to remain a global threat.
If saving lives and the prevention of human suffering isn’t enough…perhaps those not yet committed to funding polio eradication should look at the numbers regarding cost savings and debt reduction.   The eradication of Smallpox 30 years ago has yielded well over $30 billion in US taxpayer savings…from a one time US foreign aid investment of only $32 million ($3.2 million annually over 10 years).  That’s a thousand to one return.  Not bad for a global humanitarian UN lead effort.
But I guess those in congress have bigger fish to fry than a virus that largely strikes children 5 years and younger.


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