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U.S. President Obama Calls On Congress To Pass Zika Funding; Stalemate Discussed On Campaign Trails As Local Transmission Spreads In U.S., Puerto Rico

Agence France-Presse: Obama presses Congress for Zika funding as worries grow
“U.S. President Barack Obama called on Congress Saturday to step up funding to combat the Zika virus, warning that delay is putting more Americans at risk. Obama’s latest appeal, in his weekly radio address, came the day after the U.S. authorities expressed deepening worry about the spread of the mosquito-borne virus, urging that all donated blood be tested for Zika…” (8/27).

The Hill: Clinton sides with GOP on emergency health fund
“Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton vowed Wednesday to create a public health emergency fund that she says would have averted the yearlong fight in Congress over funding to combat the Zika virus. Clinton is endorsing an idea long supported by Democrats — and, more recently, by Republican leadership in Congress…” (Ferris, 8/24).

Roll Call: Despite Spending Feud, NIH Makes Do in Fight Against Zika
“Development of a vaccine to combat the Zika virus is on track for at least the next three or four months, despite the bitter congressional standoff over funding a response. But the scientist in charge of the effort said [August 17] the money is likely to dry up in December…” (Lesniewski, 8/18).

Roll Call: Zika Spending Stalemate in Congress Spills Over Into Campaigns
“Debate over how a divided Congress should respond to the Zika virus moved from Washington to the campaign trail in the first half of the summer recess, ranging from the presidential campaign to House contests…” (Shutt, 8/15).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Declares Health Emergency in Puerto Rico Over Zika Virus
“The federal government on [August 12] declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico because of the spread of Zika, saying the island’s pregnant women were particularly at risk because of the possible birth defects linked to the virus…” (Burton, 8/12).

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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.