History Department
History Department

Bill Gates praises Dr. David Oshinsky's book "Polio: An American Story"

Wed, November 4, 2009
Bill Gates praises Dr. David Oshinsky's book
Bill Gates praises David Oshinsky's book "Polio: An American Story"

In the speech, titled "Why We Are Impatient Optimists," Gates talks about the progress they've seen in global health as a direct result of the United States' initiatives, especially against polio. He emphasized it has been 99 percent eradicated.

He praised Distinguished Teaching Professor of History David Oshinsky's book, Polio: An American Story for recounting this great medical and humanitarian success. Oshinsky's book covers the race for the polio vaccine among rival scientists, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's important involvement, the creation of the March of Dimes and more. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2006.

While Gates expressed gratitude to the United States government and its partners for their assistance thus far, he pointed out that polio is still claiming victims in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries. He called for continued, persistent action and that is part of the impetus for the launching of the Living Proof Project: U.S. Investments in Global Health Are Working through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Oshinsky, who holds the Jack S. Blanton Chair in History, has been on a rigorous speaking engagment schedule crisscrossing the country, while also being a distinguished scholar-in-residence at New York University during the fall 2009 academic semester. He just recently gave the keynote speech to more than 3,000 physicians and researchers at the Infectious Diseases Society of America's 47th annual convention in Philadelphia.

The Living Proof Project launch event was webcast and video excerpts were posted Oct. 27, 2009 on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website.

Watch the polio excerpt:

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