Local U.S. Transmission Of Zika Virus Should Prompt Congress To Take Action Against Disease

New York Times: Local Zika Cases in Florida Should Wake Up Congress
Editorial Board

“The Zika-carrying mosquitoes are here. Public health officials said on Friday that four people in the Miami area have become infected with the Zika virus. This is likely to be the first local transmission of the virus by mosquitoes in the continental United States. Perhaps this news will shock Congress and state and local governments into taking more forceful steps to fight this disease. … As for members of Congress, when they return to work after Labor Day, one of their first tasks will be to pass a bill that gives health officials the resources to fight this epidemic — without insisting on ideological provisions. Congress’s delay has already put too many people at risk” (7/29).

CNN: Act One of ‘Zika Hits the USA’ has begun
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…Local mosquitoes in the Miami area are carrying the Zika virus, and have infected at least four Floridians. … It would be a grave mistake to imagine that Zika will confine itself to the seaside villas of Miami or the suburbs of Broward County. … The pressure Floridians are now applying in pursuit of federal support will swiftly magnify, as counties from Cameron, Texas, to Monmouth, New Jersey, join the din, demanding help from Washington. Yes, we all know Washington is dysfunctional these days, but this isn’t about arguing and refusing to compromise about highway construction — this is about the nation’s babies…” (7/29).

The Hill: It’s time for lawmakers and the country to take Zika seriously
Neil Silverman, clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

“…The fact that mosquitoes are now carriers here in the U.S. … should be a wake-up call. Had the CDC and state and local health agencies been allocated the necessary resources they requested months ago, Zika might not have been seen as the threat it’s being viewed as. … As it stands, those heroes on the ground working to contain the virus in Florida are doing the best they can with the resources they have available. I genuinely hope they succeed, and hope even more strongly that they are finally given the resources they need — we clearly need them. Political posturing and lack of public awareness for Zika should be viewed as ultimately and absolutely unacceptable by us all” (7/31).

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