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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss U.S. Responses To Zika

Palm Beach Post: Editorial: Zika meets Congressional dysfunction
Editorial Board

“Congress has left the building. And in its dysfunctional wake, it leaves yet another failed effort at passing crucial emergency funding to fight the spread of the dreaded Zika virus. … According to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 72 percent of Americans — including majorities of Democrats, independents, and Republicans — support allocating more federal funds to study the Zika virus and prevent its spread. … [However, even] a reported 11th-hour plea from the Obama administration — which had clung to its original request for $1.9 billion in Zika funding — went nowhere. The letter to GOP leaders made no mention of the ‘poison pill’ provisions, but urged only ‘a funding plan that enjoys the bipartisan support needed to secure this critical funding during the short time remaining in the July session.’ It’s unbelievable that this matter failed, much less was up for debate. It’s disheartening that our Congress has reached this level of dysfunction” (7/17).

The Hill: Obama administration’s double standard on Zika
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio)

“…[A]erial spraying should be a last resort, as the best way to combat Zika is to prevent it from proliferating. This can be done with the ground application of life-saving pesticides that kill mosquito larvae before they can spread the virus. But as a result of a bad court decision in 2009, unnecessary and duplicative permits are hampering the efforts of municipalities and local mosquito control districts to eradicate mosquitoes before they hatch. … [These measures are] just another layer of regulatory red tape. Compliance costs eat into the budgets of agencies in charge of mosquito eradication and abatement. Every dollar spent on compliance is a dollar not spent protecting the public from Zika. … The objections to using this critical tool in the continental United States reek of partisan politics when members of the administration encourage increased pesticide use in U.S. territories. All Americans should be protected against the spread of Zika. The president’s and Senate Democrat’s opposition to this legislation is irresponsible and is unnecessarily putting millions of Americans at risk this summer” (7/18).

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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.