On Monday, in a Manhattan town house that once belonged to polio’s most famous victim, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Gates made an appeal for one more big push to wipe out world polio.
Although that battle began in 1985 and Mr. Gates started making regular donations to it only in 2005, he has emerged in the last two years both as one of the biggest donors — he has now given $1.3 billion, more than the amount raised over 25 years by Rotary International — and as the loudest voice for eradication.
As new outbreaks create new setbacks each year, he has given ever more money, not only for research but for the grinding work on the ground: paying millions of vaccinators $2 or $3 stipends to get pink polio drops into the mouths of children in villages, slums, markets and train stations.
He also journeys to remote Indian and Nigerian villages to be photographed giving the drops himself. Though he lacks Angelina Jolie’s pneumatic allure, his lingering “world’s richest man” cologne is just as aphrodisiacal to TV cameras.
Full Story: Gates calls for a final push to eradicate polio