Health Officials, Researchers Work To Understand Zika; Congressional Stalemate Over Funding Continues

Bloomberg News: Zika Is Here, And America Has No Plan to Fight It
“There have been more than 18,000 cases of Zika in the U.S. and its territories. Congress, however, still hasn’t allocated one penny of funding to fight the disease. Researchers are using what resources they have to better understand both the virus — how it enters the body, how it behaves, and how it’s passed to other people — and the mosquitoes that carry it. While there are many paths to conquering the growing threat, one thing experts agree on is a need for more public education on how to avoid infection…” (Shanker, 9/15).

Wired: No One Knows Who Is Blocking U.S. Funding For Zika Treatment
“…So why the stall on the funding? Republicans added a rider to the bill that would make the Puerto Rican division of Planned Parenthood, Profamilias, ineligible to get the money. Democrats see that language as a poison pill, just as Republicans knew they would. Cue the legislative deadlock. On the bright side, that means that there’s someone to blame for this mess: whoever added the rider to the bill. No one in Congress will say who that person is. … In a way, it might not matter. Zika emergency response provisions will probably end up attached to a continuing resolution that Congress must pass by the end of the month to avoid a government shutdown. So the money might yet come, albeit belatedly — and at great cost to those people already infected. It’d be nice to know where to send the bill” (Ellis, 9/15).

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