David Oshinsky, a New York University Distinguished Scholar in Residence, will join Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other global leaders in a conversation on“Polio Eradication and the Power of Vaccines.” The event will take place at the historic Roosevelt House and will be webcast live on Monday, January 31, 9:30 a.m. EST at www.gatesfoundation.org.
The event, which marks the release of Bill Gates’ third annual letter, will focus on the progress in the fight to eradicate polio and the lifesaving potential of vaccines. Other participants include Professor Helen Rees from South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand and chair of the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, and Ciro de Quadros, executive vice president at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer will moderate the event.
While polio once threatened children across the globe, it is now endemic in just four countries – Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. Thanks to effective vaccines, polio has been reduced by 99 percent compared to two decades ago and could one day become only the second disease to be eradicated from the world, after smallpox.
The conversation, which takes place at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, can be viewed on demand while the event is occurring, and will be kept on the website following the event.
Oshinsky, also a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Polio: An American Story,” which chronicles the impact of polio in the U.S. and the effort by scientists to find a successful vaccine. Oshinsky is a specialist in 20th century U.S. political and cultural history. His most recent book, Capital Punishment on Trial: Furman v. Georgia and the Death Penalty in Modern America, was published by University Press of Kansas last year.