I’m probably getting a bit off topic here but I think Cold War vaccine diplomacy ranks right up there with the space race and nuclear disarmament.
“Vaccine Diplomacy”: Historical Perspectives and Future Directions
Peter J. Hotez
Published online 2014 Jun 26.
Vaccine science diplomacy entered its golden age during the Cold War between the US and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Between 1956 and 1959, Dr. Albert Sabin from the US traveled to the USSR and collaborated with his Soviet virology counterparts, including Dr. Mikhail Chumakov, to develop a prototype oral polio vaccine and test it on 10 million Soviet children and ultimately 100 million people under the age of 20 . The success of the collaboration depended on each scientist going to great lengths to convince their diplomatic liaisons to put aside ideologies for purposes of joint scientific cooperation –, .
‘Vaccine diplomacy’: A Prescription for North and South Korea
Asmae Toumi March 12, 2013 ASIA PACIFIC
Nearly sixty years ago, an unlikely collaboration between the United States and the Soviet Union yielded one of the world’s greatest medical breakthroughs: the first oral polio vaccine. Tensions were at an all-time high following the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik satellite and the successful detonation of the Soviet hydrogen bomb; yet, American Dr. Albert Sabin and a group of Russian virologists secured permissions from their respective governments to collaborate on developing, perfecting and testing the Oral Poliovirus Vaccine (OPV) that has led us today to the near eradication of polio worldwide.
Could this same “vaccine diplomacy” act as a catalyst for improving relations between North Korea and South Korea?
Dr. Peter Hotez, founding dean and professor of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, answers this question with a resounding yes…
https://thepoliticalbouillon.com/en/vac ... uth-korea/
Reinventing Gitmo: Vaccine Diplomacy and the War on Terror
Brandon Keim 02.27.08
Scrap the spotlights and chain-link pens, install some DNA sequencers and decent coffee machines, and swap prisoners in orange jumpsuits with postdocs in lab coats.
That's the prescription of Peter Hotez, editor of Public Library of Science Neglected Tropical Diseases, for the detainee facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
No, Hotez doesn't want military doctors conducting tests on the suspected terrorists now held there – but if the Bush Administration is really serious about shutting Gitmo down, then the facilities might as well be put to good use.
Turning Gitmo into a medical research center, wrote Hotez in an editorial published yesterday in his journal, would continue a tradition of "vaccine diplomacy" that started during the Cold War when researchers in the United States and Soviet Union together developed a polio vaccine. That history-changing accomplishment saved millions from paralysis and thawed relations between the superpowers.
By using Gitmo for research on diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and chagas – diseases that each year kill millions of people in the developing world, though the governmental equivalent of pocket change would likely suffice to eliminate them – the United States can improve relations with South and Central American countries alienated by our economic callousness and historically misguided foreign policy.
"It is a moral outrage that a wealthy country like the United States allows its closest neighbors to suffer from some of the world's worst levels of disease, poverty, and malnutrition," wrote Hotez.
"Reinventing Gitmo to address our hemisphere's most pressing neglected health problems could help change America's reputation and legacy in the region."
Sounds like a great idea to me. It'd certainly be a nice way to apologize for, say, supporting Augusto Pinochet and Efraín Ríos Montt.
But why stop there? In keeping with the legacy of vaccine diplomacy, maybe U.S. scientists could partner with Islamic scientists to develop new treatments for the physical and mental injuries of the War on Terror – the limbs lost and brain damage suffered in bomb blasts, the psychological aftermath of fear, loss and injury.
Vaccine diplomacy helped end the Cold War. Maybe it could help end the War on Terror, too.
Engaging Iran Through Vaccine Diplomacy
An American researcher argues that science diplomacy regarding neglected tropical diseases could cool tensions between Iran and the U.S.
Nov 30, 2011
To counter Iran’s emerging nuclear threat, we might look back to a little-known but highly effective Cold War collaboration between the U.S. and Soviet Union that defused international tensions and led to one of the world’s greatest humanitarian discoveries.
Today, we are on the verge of achieving the global eradication of polio. Most of this success can be attributed to the development of a safe and effective live oral polio vaccine, a discovery that first began during the 1950s in the Cincinnati laboratory of Dr. Albert Sabin. Few are aware, however, that Sabin’s initial discovery led to the full development of an actual polio vaccine only through a joint collaboration with Soviet virologists from 1956-1960.
In the years immediately following the Sputnik launch and the first successful detonation of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, arguably at the height of the Cold War, Sabin and a small group of Soviet virologists received back-channel diplomatic permission from their respective governments to collaborate on the successful development, manufacture, and large-scale clinical testing of the oral polio vaccine. Ultimately millions of Soviet children became the first vaccine recipients. The vaccine was deemed safe and effective so that these landmark studies first conducted in the U.S.S.R. led to the licensure, widespread acceptance, and ultimately the global use of the vaccine that has led us to the eradication of polio.
The example of two nations putting aside their ideologies for the monumental purpose of producing a lifesaving vaccine has potential relevance to the current situation in Iran. Today, the poorest people in Iran…
https://psmag.com/environment/engaging- ... macy-38029
A Pox on Your Narrative: Writing Disease Control into Cold War History
Published: 05 March 2010
When Dr. Viktor M. Zhdanov, Deputy Minister of Health of the Soviet Union, arrived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 1958 to attend the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO), the visit was not routine.1 Reflecting Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev's new policy of “peaceful coexistence” with the West, it marked the first time that a Soviet delegation had been sent to that forum since the establishment of the WHO ten years earlier.2 And Zhdanov made his mark, calling on the organization to launch a global campaign to eradicate smallpox, one of humankind's oldest and deadliest diseases. Mindful of the meeting's venue, he began his call with a quote from a letter that U.S. president Thomas Jefferson had written to Edward Jenner, discoverer of the smallpox vaccine, more than...
https://academic.oup.com/dh/article-abs ... m=fulltext
May God have mercy on your soul, Dr. Peter Jay Hotez.