The Economist Examines U.S. Congress’s Actions On Zika, History Of Outbreak Response Funding

The Economist: Why Americans will be more vulnerable to Zika than they should be
“…The refusal of Republican congressmen to meet Barack Obama’s request for $1.9 billion to fight the Zika virus, which culminated this week in both congressional chambers voting to release much lesser sums, shows American democracy at its worst. … Republican-controlled Houses have form in such matters. The $5.4 billion they granted Mr. Obama in 2015 to fight Ebola was around $800m less than the president had requested; the $3.8 billion they gave George Bush in 2006 to prepare against a flu pandemic was $3.3 billion less. That is one reason America is so unprepared for Zika; ‘We have a history of underestimating public health emergencies,’ says Jennifer Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Yet the contrast between the imminent tragedy of Zika in America and the political hay some Republican congressmen have made of it is especially unsavory…” (J.A., 5/18).

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