U.S. Investment In Polio Eradication Must Be Protected

“Spying is a messy business that necessarily involves deceit, and U.S. intelligence operatives need latitude to do their work. In this case, however, the planners and approvers of the CIA [vaccine] operation didn’t appropriately calculate the possible consequences of their actions on an agenda that is as important to the world as fighting al-Qaeda,” a Bloomberg editorial states.

“Eradication of smallpox saves the world more than $1 billion a year, according to the WHO. If polio transmission can be stopped by 2015, the net benefit from reduced treatment costs and gains in productivity will be $40 billion to $50 billion, according to a recent study,” the editorial notes, highlighting other benefits of eradicating the disease. “These are goals worth investing in, and the U.S. government has done just that. Its share of the $9 billion in contributions and pledges to the polio eradication effort through 2012 is $2 billion. That investment needs to be protected. Future U.S. intelligence schemes should take it into account,” the editorial concludes (7/28).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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