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Opinion Pieces Discuss U.S. Congressional Stalemate Over Zika Virus Response

STAT: Back from Zika hot zone, ‘Mosquito Lady’ to Congress: Move it!
Maureen Dowd, columnist for the New York Times

“…When I got back to D.C. [from Puerto Rico], Joe Biden was on the steps of the Capitol proclaiming Zika a national emergency and urging Congress to stop stonewalling a bill to fight the spread of the pathogen and develop a vaccine. … As was true with Ebola, we can be slow on the uptake with viruses. We often don’t take them seriously enough, especially when they first hit in disadvantaged parts of the world like Africa and the Caribbean. … Puerto Rico is pushing through the [Zika] crisis, even as Congress dithers. But Vice President Biden is right. The battle over a terrifying virus should not be a political football. Congress, act” (9/12).

The Hill: U.S. and Puerto Rico must cooperate on Zika
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-Ill.)

“…The most important thing Congress can do is stop squabbling and fund the president’s request for a national strategy to fight Zika, which would include funding to help Puerto Rico address the disease at ground zero. Doing nothing is what this Congress is good at, but there comes a time when Republican leaders need to put their country before their party — even in an election year — and let the resources and experts of the federal government fight this disease. … Congress must act now. The CDC must be allowed to act now. … Puerto Rico — and Puerto Ricans — must understand how serious this really is and address it aggressively with all tools at their disposal, including help from the federal government. We need to act in concert for the good of Puerto Rico and the United States” (9/12).

The Hill: What the Democrats won’t tell you about Zika
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.)

“…The Democrats continue to justify their nay votes by lambasting Republicans for inserting radical ‘poison pill riders’ that hurt women and destroy the environment … Rather than challenging politicians to back up their claims with facts, the media thrive off headlines of congressional inaction. … [Senate Democrats] are more concerned with politicizing an issue that has devastating effects on pregnant women and their babies than they are about doing their jobs and passing legislation. They have more fun using their false, politicized statements to dominate the media narrative and make the American public believe blatant lies” (9/12).

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