By Bill Parry
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is pushing for federal emergency funding to combat the spread of the Zika virus. Schumer said more than 800 Americans have already contracted the mosquito-born virus, with 60 confirmed cases in New York state.
“With so many women and families across the country looking for action, it is critical that members of Congress work together to greenlight at least $1 billion in emergency funding as soon as possible so that we can help stem the spread of Zika,” Schumer said. “Simply put, anyone repellent to this emergency funding plan isn’t serious about beating Zika. When it comes to fighting this epidemic, a stitch in time will save nine and so, I will do everything in my power to make sure emergency funding is delivered.”
President Obama’s supplemental emergency funding request includes a comprehensive response to the virus. Overall, the federal funds would allow the United States to take critical steps at home and abroad.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently confirmed the link between Zika during pregnancy and severe birth defects like microcephaly. The plan would improve mosquito control, expand access to family planning and contraceptives and accelerate efforts to develop a vaccine.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr