S.Res. 473 (112th): A resolution commending Rotary International and others for their efforts to prevent and eradicate polio.

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of May 24, 2012 (Introduced).

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III

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. RES. 473

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 24, 2012

(for himself, Mr. Kirk, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Lugar, and Mr. Lautenberg) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

RESOLUTION

Commending Rotary International and others for their efforts to prevent and eradicate polio.

Whereas polio is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects children and for which there is no known cure;

Whereas polio can leave survivors permanently disabled from muscle paralysis of the limbs and occasionally leads to a particularly difficult death through the paralysis of respiratory muscles;

Whereas polio was once one of the most dreaded diseases in the United States, killing thousands annually in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and leaving thousands more with permanent disability, including the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt;

Whereas severe polio outbreaks in the 1940s and 1950s caused panic in the United States, as parents kept children indoors, public health officials quarantined infected individuals, and the Federal Government restricted commerce and travel;

Whereas 1952 was the peak of the polio epidemic in the United States, with more than 57,000 people affected, 21,000 of whom were paralyzed and 3,000 of whom died;

Whereas safe and effective polio vaccines, including the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (commonly known as IPV), developed in 1952 by Jonas Salk, and the Oral Polio Vaccine (commonly known as OPV), developed in 1957 by Albert Sabin, rendered polio preventable and contributed to the rapid decline of polio incidence in the United States;

Whereas polio, a preventable disease that the United States has been free from since 1979, still needlessly lays victim to children and adults in several countries where challenges such as active conflict and lack of infrastructure hamper access to vaccines;

Whereas the eradication of polio is the highest priority of Rotary International, a global association that was founded in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois, is currently headquartered in Evanston, Illinois, and has 1,200,000 members in more than 170 countries;

Whereas Rotary International and its members (commonly known as Rotarians) have contributed more than $1,000,000,000 and volunteered countless hours in the global fight against polio;

Whereas the Federal Government is the leading public sector donor to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and provides technical and operational leadership to this global effort through the work of the Centers for Disease Control and the United States Agency for International Development;

Whereas Rotary International, the World Health Organization, the United States Government, the United Nations Children's Fund (commonly known as UNICEF), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have joined together with national governments to successfully reduce cases of polio by more than 99 percent since 1988, from 350,000 reported cases in 1988 to fewer than 700 reported cases in 2011;

Whereas polio was recently eliminated in India and is now endemic only in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; and

Whereas the eradication of polio is imminently achievable and will be a victory shared by all of humanity: Now, therefore, be it

That the Senate—

(1)

commends Rotary International and others for their efforts in vaccinating children around the world against polio and for the tremendous strides made toward eradicating the disease once and for all;

(2)

encourages the international community of governments and non-governmental organizations to remain committed to the elimination of polio; and

(3)

encourages continued commitment and funding by the United States Government to the global effort to rid the world of polio.