Rotary convinced U.S. Congress to support PolioPlus with $2.8 Billion!

The U.S. Congress does not seem to agree on anything and to accomplish anything. Despite this, Rotary has been successful in convincing Congress to support Polio Eradication with $2.8 billion!

Rotary International recognized five members of Congress for their support of the humanitarian service organization’s top priority to eradicate polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still paralyzes children in parts of the world today.

Rotary International PolioPlus Committee Chair Mike McGovern (far right) gave out the awards to the Congressional Polio Eradication Champions, which are from left to right: Rotarian and Polio Survivor Steve Crane, Member of the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force Ralph Munro and Polio Eradication Champion Rep. Dave Reichert.

Rotary also recognized lawmakers Sen. Roy Blunt (MO.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR.), Sen. Brian Schatz (HI), Rep. Tom Cole (OK), and Rep. Dave Reichert (WA) were presented with Rotary’s Polio Eradication Champion Award during an event at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on May 11, 2016.

These lawmakers served as advocates for securing U.S. government funding for polio eradication activities through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). They influenced both their constituents at home and congressional colleagues to support a polio-free world.

As the world’s largest funder of polio eradication, the U.S. government has contributed more than $2.8 billion since the mid-1980s.

Rotary established the Polio Eradication Champion Award in 1995 to recognize heads of state, health agency leaders and others who have made a significant contribution to polio eradication.

Many International Leaders support PolioPlus. Past recipients of the Rotary award include Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and 43 current members of the 114th Congress previously recognized by Rotary as Champions.

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