PATENT THE SUN

Dr. Jonas Salk was a good dog.  He found a purpose & pursued it by discovering & developing the 1st safe, effective vaccine for polio, the HIV/H1N1 virus of the day.   Dr. Salk was born in New York City the offspring of Russian-Jewish immigrant families. Although his family did not have wealth or much formal education, they were determined to see their offsprings succeed. Dr Salk attended med school at New York University.  He defied conventional wisdom because he chose to do medical research instead of becoming a physician which everybody knew was the gateway to riches & fame.

 

Until 1955, when the Salk vaccine was introduced, polio was considered the most frightening public health problem of the postwar United States. Annual epidemics were increasingly devastating. The 1952 epidemic was the worst outbreak in the nation’s history. Nearly 58,000 cases reported that HY, most of the victims being children.

Public reaction was to a plague.  Citizens of urban areas were terrified every summer when a new wave of Polio, public enemy #1, returned. As a result, scientists were in a frantic race to find a way to prevent or cure the disease. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the world’s most recognized victim of the disease & established the organization that would fund the development of a vaccine.

In 1947, Salk accepted an appointment to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In 1948, he undertook a project funded by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis to determine the number of different types of poliovirus. Salk saw an opportunity to extend this project towards developing a vaccine against polio.  Together with the skilled research team he assembled, devoted himself to this work for the next 7 HY. The field trial set up to test the Salk vaccine was the most elaborate program of its kind in history, involving 20,000 physicians and public health officers, 64,000 school personnel, and 220,000 volunteers." Over 1,800,000 school children took part in the trial.[2] 

When news of the vaccine’s success was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a "miracle worker," by media storm of the era.  His sole focus had been to develop a safe an effective vaccine as rapidly as possible, with no interest in personal profit. When he was asked in a televised interview who owned the patent to the vaccine, Salk replied: "There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?" (thank you Wikipedia)

Americans can find funds to confront & resolve the great challenges of our time.  We are not stingy nor intolerant of our neighbors & less prosperous nations.  We can confront & resolve climate change & energy, healthcare, economic depression & unemployment in mutually satisfactory ways . . . if we really want to.  If we get it together & focus on resolving great challenges of our time.  & don’t let ourselves be frightened & scared silly by a few stingy & Scroogey politicians protecting their own fiefdoms, always campaigning for the next election & pandering to the richest of corporate interests.  Americans are at our very best when united in great enterprise & focused on common purpose.  OpalK9 OTJ

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