Editorials, Opinion Piece Address U.S. Zika Response

Orlando Sentinel: Don’t play politics in Zika fight: Editorial
Editorial Board

“[T]here should be no patience with partisan brinkmanship when public health is at stake. It’s been nearly two months since Obama formally requested that Congress appropriate $1.9 billion to fight the Zika virus. … Congress’ GOP leaders have refused to approve that request. … Republican leaders have insisted there’s plenty of money available to fight Zika from other sources, including leftover dollars that Congress set aside in 2014 to deal with another public health threat, the Ebola virus. … On Friday, Florida’s junior U.S. senator, Republican Marco Rubio, broke with party leaders and announced his support for Obama’s request for funding. … Florida’s senior U.S. senator, Bill Nelson, also has called on Congress to approve the president’s request. So as far as the Sunshine State’s Senate delegation is concerned, support for the president’s request is bipartisan. It should be throughout the other 49 states, too” (4/12).

USA Today: Zika warning ‘a bit scarier’: Our view
Editorial Board

“…As warmer weather makes mosquitoes more active in the USA, the guiding principle for political and public health leaders ought to be preparation without panic … It’s difficult to know how much money will be required to combat Zika, but rushing from crisis to crisis is no way to keep the nation prepared. … The most critical needs include continued search for a vaccine (though none will be ready for this summer), better tools to diagnose the virus, and more effective mosquito control … The country has suffered when government leaders have failed to get ahead of a public health threat or politicians have created unnecessary panic with careless comments. Zika is a menacing disease that deserves more research, serious funding, speedy action, and calm and candid communication with the public” (4/11).

Forbes: Zika Virus, Birth Control And Abortion
Peter Lipson, physician and Forbes contributor

“…[M]osquito bites will likely continue to be the main way people become infected [with Zika]. For most people, the infection is either mild or not noticed at all. But the implications for pregnancy are enormous. And Zika is probably heading our way. … We need to focus on mosquito control now, as the season is upon us. We need to make sure that women in areas likely to be affected by Zika have information about the disease and access to birth control — and, if desired, abortion. … We need to prepare for the public health, medical, and societal problems that the latest mosquito-borne disease brings with it” (4/11).

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