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Editorials Discuss Congressional Inaction To Fund Zika Response; Opinion Piece Discusses Role Of Planned Parenthood During Epidemic

Tampa Bay Times: Editorial: Congress should approve Zika funding
Editorial Board

“A tentative deal that finally would provide federal funding to fight the Zika virus offers a glimmer of hope — and sanity — that leaders in Washington will put words into action to combat this spreading public health threat. … The deal now on the table includes $1.1 billion for Zika in a short-term spending bill that keeps the federal government running into December. It’s considered ‘must-pass’ legislation, because without it federal agencies would have to shut down. … The deal in the works now will not make up for months of lawmakers’ willful inaction, but it will provide the crucial ingredient for fighting Zika: money. Lawmakers must get it done” (9/14).

Washington Post: Memo to Congress: Bickering won’t cure Zika
Editorial Board

“…The president said Monday after meeting bipartisan congressional leaders that he is optimistic there will be some action [to fund a Zika response]. We hope he is right, because so far Congress has done little to justify optimism on this score. … In recent days, the nation’s top public health officials have warned that the money is running out. Moreover, this is no way to run a railroad. Vaccine development is a long-term project requiring difficult clinical trials, and to starve it for funds now will postpone the day when an effective vaccine will be ready. This is a political season, and after Congress goes home again in a few weeks, voters will be asked to render a verdict on its performance. So far, the record is abysmal. Let’s hope members raise their gaze before heading for the exits” (9/14).

The Hill: The importance of Planned Parenthood in the Zika epidemic
Amy Faith Ho, emergency physician

“…Defunding Planned Parenthood in the face of Zika is like defunding firefighters in the face of a forest fire. All the other efforts of government agencies are focused on prevention. Planned Parenthood offers an essential right to choose for women. … Abortion aside, Planned Parenthood offers a highly effective way of limiting spread of Zika without spraying chemicals into the air: condoms and birth control. While hundreds continue to protest as spraying of mosquitoes commences despite CDC assurance that it is safe for humans, even the Pope has already stated condoms are acceptable in the face of Zika virus. Congress needs to put aside political theater and realize that while vaccines, testing, and diagnostics will be limited by the natural speed and expense of scientific research, the magic bullet is already here: Planned Parenthood. Fight fire with firefighters, not Smokey the Bear. Fund Planned Parenthood” (9/14).

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