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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Decision To Continue Rio Olympic Games Amid Zika, U.S. Politics Around Epidemic Response Efforts

USA TODAY: Olympic Zika fears flip out: Our view
Editorial Board

“…[I]f public health decisions are to be driven by facts, not fear, the decision to begin the Games on Aug. 5, as scheduled, is reasonable. … But when public health officials give advice on postponing or moving the Olympics — as the WHO did in May, when it recommended going forward — the decision can send either a calming message or a dangerous one. If countries believe there will be a high price — such as losing major events, or facing travel and trade bans — for letting the world know about outbreaks, they will instead be tempted to keep secrets. … Such silence could be devastating to worldwide public health. Postponing or moving the Games because of overblown Zika fears would have been a decision unworthy of a medal” (7/6).

Chicago Tribune: Commentary: Congress lets abortion politics derail Zika fight
Arthur L. Caplan, director of medical ethics at the New York University Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health, and Kelly McBride Folkers, research associate with the center’s Division of Medical Ethics

“…Without a coordinated federal effort, [the number of confirmed cases of Zika in the U.S.] will continue to rise. … Public support for federal funding to fight Zika is consistent across party lines among voters. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released June 30, 81 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of Republicans, and 73 percent of independents surveyed supported investing more federal money to combat Zika. … The Zika virus doesn’t care if you are a Republican or a Democrat. Zika virus prevention isn’t a partisan issue, and anti-Zika funding shouldn’t be either. Abstinence, condoms, counseling, improved testing, bug spray, and mosquito control are essential in the fight against Zika. If they don’t work, abortion ought to be an option. A public health crisis where those at the greatest risk are pregnant women is not the time to re-engage in stale, dangerous politics about contraception and abortion” (7/5).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.