Urge Congress to Fully Fund Zika Virus Prevention
Time is short — Congress must act now as they are dangerously risking the health and lives of mothers and unborn children.
Earlier this year, the President made an emergency request for roughly $1.9 billion to respond to the Zika virus epidemic. The fight in Congress for funding has dragged on for months and the latest budget proposed is nearly $1 billion short — forcing the Administration to transfer $600 million in remaining Ebola funds to the Zika response.
But this makes little sense. In fact, this is like diverting the fire hose from a house fire that is smoldering, to one that is in flames. It only takes a puff of wind for the original conflagration to ignite again.
This is a gamble the White House — and all of us — should not have to make.
The World Health Organization, which has declared a state of emergency, reports that Zika virus is now being spread to even more countries. The latest reports have cases reported in 55 countries worldwide. Thousands of cases of microcephaly, a birth defect in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected often due to abnormal brain development, have already been identified. More cases are being reported every day in the United States and abroad — with over 1,000 confirmed cases in Brazil as a April. If we don't act, millions of pregnant women and unborn fetuses are at risk and need support now to avert a further disaster.
Yes, there is still much to learn about Zika, but does Congress really want to run the risk of having BOTH Ebola and Zika virus cases in the mainland U.S. in the coming months? Especially as warmer weather approaches.
We are facing a potential disaster if evidence-based action on a sufficient scale is not taken.This is not the time for Congress to belabor this issue.
We need Congress to do its part.
Tell them they need to pass the White House request for Zika funding and restore funds for containing Ebola.
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