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White House To Redirect $510M In Ebola Funding, $79M In Other Funding Toward Zika Response; Administration Urges Congress To Approve Emergency Funding

Associated Press: White House: $589M to go to fight Zika virus
“Federal money left over from the largely successful fight against Ebola will now go to combating the growing threat of the Zika virus, the Obama administration announced Wednesday…” (Taylor, 4/6).

CIDRAP News: White House to shift Ebola funds for Zika response
“The Obama administration announced [Wednesday] that because the president’s request for $1.9 billion in emergency funding has stalled in Congress, it will shift $589 million, most of it from Ebola resources, toward critical activities such as controlling mosquitoes, building lab capacity, and developing vaccines and diagnostic tests…” (Schnirring, 4/6).

CNN: White House warns Congress: Fight Zika or live to regret it
“The White House on Wednesday issued a dire warning to Republicans in Congress: Spend money to prevent the Zika virus from spreading within the United States or regret it later…” (Kosinski, 4/6).

CQ News: Obama Administration Redirects $589 Million to Battle Zika
“…Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, announced in a conference call with reporters that the administration has identified $589 million in existing funds that can be immediately redirected to target the virus, which is spreading in Latin America and has been linked to birth defects. Donovan said $510 million would be repurposed from existing resources across multiple agencies provided in 2014 to combat the Ebola outbreak that year…” (McCrimmon, 4/6).

Foreign Policy: White House Shifts Ebola Funds to Try to Stop Spread of Zika
“…The shift in funds comes as more evidence emerges that Ebola — which two years ago ignited global panic after overwhelming public health systems in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone — has yet to be fully eradicated…” (Francis, 4/6).

The Hill: Overnight Healthcare: White House dips into Ebola funding for Zika
“…The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will ramp up ‘immediate, time-critical’ efforts to stop the spread of the [Zika] virus, which remains difficult to diagnose with no vaccines or treatments available…” (Ferris/Sullivan, 4/6).

New York Times: Obama Administration to Transfer Ebola Funds to Zika Fight
“…In addition to funds moved from the Ebola budget, an additional $79 million would come from several other accounts, including money previously allotted to the national strategic stockpile of vaccines and other emergency supplies for epidemics, said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services…” (McNeil, 4/6).

Reuters: White House finds temporary fix in Zika funding fight
“…Without full Zika funding, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said mosquito control and surveillance may have to be delayed or stopped, vaccine development could be jeopardized, and development of faster diagnostic tests could be impaired…” (Rampton/Gardner, 4/6).

STAT: Obama administration diverts $500 million from Ebola response to Zika fight
“…Administration officials had resisted tapping the Ebola money to fuel the Zika fight, but said Wednesday they could not wait any longer for Congress to act. … Without additional funding, ‘there are activities that we cannot start now,’ said Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget. ‘There are activities in the coming months that we may need to stop doing’…” (Joseph, 4/6).

USA TODAY: As Congress stalls funding, White House will move Ebola funds to Zika
“…House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said he was pleased that the administration had found existing funds to battle Zika, put promised oversight ‘to ensure the best and most effective use of these funds’…” (Korte, 4/6).

Wall Street Journal: White House to Shift About $500 Million for Fighting Ebola to Combating Zika
“…More than 60 percent of the money is to be spent domestically, and the rest on aid to other countries for programs including educational campaigns, maternal and child health efforts, and mosquito management…” (Armour, 4/6).

Washington Post: White House to divert Ebola funds in $589M push to fight Zika
“…Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee said they expect to discuss additional funding to combat Zika in the annual spending process that is currently underway. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who chairs the subcommittee that oversees federal health and human services issues, said he is still assessing how long the Ebola funds will last and how much additional money is needed. … Democrats were disappointed the White House was forced to raid the Ebola fund…” (Eilperin/Snell, 4/6).

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