Confirmed Reports Of Local Zika Transmission In Florida Prompt U.S. Senate Democrats To Call For Immediate Funding Compromise; Health Advocacy Groups Urge Action

Devex: Cecile Richards on the Zika funding blockade
“Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has fought her fair share of battles to protect the health services organization’s work around the world. Now she’s fighting for the opportunity to tackle a global threat: Zika. Richards stopped by the Devex studio after meetings on Capitol Hill where she pressed the U.S. Congress to fund an adequate response to this growing health emergency…” (Espinosa, 7/28).

The Guardian: Democrats demand Congress end its vacation to approve Zika funding
“Senate Democrats have called for Congress to end its recess and immediately approve emergency funds for combating the Zika virus in America, after Florida reported its first cases of mosquito-borne infections on the mainland, and funding for mosquito nets for pregnant women started running low…” (Walters, 7/31).

The Hill: Reid: Congress should return ‘immediately’ to fight Zika
“Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) on Friday called on Congress to return from its summer recess early to provide funding to fight the Zika virus. The call comes after officials in Florida announced earlier in the day that there is a high likelihood that the first cases of the virus being transmitted in the continental United States by mosquitoes have occurred…” (Sullivan, 7/29).

Los Angeles Times: Zika’s unrelenting march across the Americas: ‘An emergency that we need to address’
“…On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said four patients in Florida were probably infected with Zika by local Aedes species mosquitoes — the first evidence of mosquito-borne transmission in the continental United States. The virus, which can also be spread sexually, was already circulating in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands…” (Zavis, 7/29).

Miami Herald: Zika hits Miami: Nation’s first local outbreak, health officials confirm
“…Zika’s arrival in the continental United States has been anticipated since last fall, following the virus’s rapid spread through the Caribbean and Latin America. But confirmation that local mosquitoes have transmitted Zika in Florida set off alarm bells in Congress, with Republicans and Democrats blaming each other for failing to approve emergency funding to respond to the public health threat…” (Chang, 7/29).

USA TODAY: Florida Zika cases a ‘game changer’ that puts pressure on Congress to act
“…A variety of health groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association, criticized Congress for leaving for summer vacation without providing emergency funding to fight Zika. Although President Obama requested $1.9 billion for Zika prevention in February, Republicans and Democrats in Congress were unable to agree on funding. Congress will reconvene after Labor Day. Both parties have blamed the other for failing to reach a compromise…” (Szabo, 7/29).

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