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SENATE RESOLUTION 473--COMMENDING ROTARY INTERNATIONAL AND OTHERS FOR THEIR EFFORTS TO PREVENT AND ERADICATE POLIO
(Senate - May 24, 2012)

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[Page S3639]
 SENATE RESOLUTION 473--COMMENDING ROTARY INTERNATIONAL AND OTHERS FOR 
              THEIR EFFORTS TO PREVENT AND ERADICATE POLIO

  Mr. DURBIN (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:

                              S. Res. 473

       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
       Resolved, 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.

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