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President Obama Requests Nearly $2B For Emergency Zika Funding, Works With Governors On Virus Response

CQ News: White House Strengthens Ties With Governors on Zika Response
“With health experts warning that the Zika virus could spread to the United States this summer, the White House announced it will partner with the National Governors Association in responding to the mosquito-borne disease. Zika was one of the first topics discussed when President Barack Obama met with governors in Washington, D.C., on Monday, according to an NGA official who was present. The goal of the new partnership is to coordinate the federal, state and local response and prevention efforts…” (Zanona, 2/22).

The Hill: White House presses GOP for nearly $2B to fight Zika virus
“The Obama administration on Monday redoubled its call for nearly $2 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus, rejecting the GOP’s idea the government should use leftover Ebola money to fight the new virus. President Obama’s budget chief, Shaun Donovan, told House Republicans in a letter that federal health and security officials still have big plans for the millions of dollars slated to fight Ebola, which he said is ‘still a threat’…” (Ferris, 2/22).

The Hill: CDC launches key study of Zika virus amid funding battle
“Federal health officials are launching a large-scale study to determine whether the Zika virus is the cause of hundreds, and possibly thousands, of birth defects in Brazil. … The impacts of the CDC’s first-of-its-kind study could impact the ongoing funding battle between the White House and GOP leadership about whether to devote new funding to fighting and studying the virus…” (Ferris, 2/22).

Reuters: White House presses Congress for emergency funds for Zika
“… ‘The magnitude of the Zika outbreak primarily requires new resources to ensure it is adequately addressed,’ White House budget director Shaun Donovan said in a letter to Republican Representative Hal Rogers, head of the House Appropriations Committee. The White House also would like permission from Congress to put unused Ebola money toward Zika projects to ‘give us the flexibility to respond to Zika needs beyond what we have so far identified,’ Donovan said in the letter…” (Rampton/Cowan, 2/22).

Washington Post: Obama asks Congress for $1.9 billion to combat spread of Zika virus
“… ‘This request supports the necessary steps to fortify our domestic health system, detect and respond to any potential Zika outbreaks at home, and to limit the spread in other countries,’ Obama wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.)…” (Dennis, 2/22).

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