One of my most persistent memories of my friend Dr. Albert Sabin, who developed an oral vaccine against poliomyelitis (polio), was — when we'd meet after one of my health-related missions overseas — his questions about the polio situation in the country I had visited.

I am sure he would be dismayed at the return of polio in many countries, and even more so when he learned that this phenomenon is due to the spurious use of public health programs.

In July 2011, an investigation carried out by The Guardian revealed that the CIA had organized a false vaccination program where Osama bin Laden was reportedly hiding, as a way to obtain DNA samples from the al-Qaida leader's family. The CIA had been monitoring the compound were bin Laden was believed to be living, but the agency wanted confirmation before mounting a risky operation in another country.