Gitmo As Hot Zone Research Center?

i-1944980b4f3a1f9265153b6af883fdc5-hot_zone.jpgInteresting editorial in PLoS Genetics:

Reports that the Bush administration has expressed an interest in closing the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility in Cuba [1], colloquially known in the US as “Gitmo,” could stimulate a new chapter in US foreign policy. By converting Gitmo into a biomedical research institute dedicated to combating the diseases of poverty in the Western Hemisphere, we can tap into a little known, but highly effective tradition of vaccine diplomacy that we first began 50 years ago at the height of the Cold War [2],[3].

In the 1950s, polio epidemics were ravaging the major urban centers in the United States and in the Soviet Union. Children were the chief victims in both countries. The devastation wreaked by the polio outbreak spurred the establishment of new polio research laboratories in Moscow and in the US at Jonas Salk’s laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and at Albert Sabin’s lab in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Hotez PJ (2008) Reinventing Guantanamo: From Detainee Facility to Center for Research on Neglected Diseases of Poverty in the Americas. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2(2): e201 doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000201

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