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Obama: Don’t “panic” over the Zika virus

Obama: Don’t “panic” over the Zika virus

Yet, President just asked for $1.8 billion in emergency Zika funding!

Obama now says that there is no reason to panic over a virus that has been linked to an outbreaks in birth defects in South America:

President Obama is asking people not to panic about the Zika virus.

“The good news is this is not like Ebola, people don’t die of Zika — a lot of people get it and don’t even know that they have it,” the president said in an interview with Gayle King that aired Monday on “CBS This Morning.”

While I agree panic is unwarranted, concern is not…especially after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that its emergency operations center has been put on a “Level 1” status. The President is also asking for $1.8 billion in funding for the resources to combat the disease.

President Obama will ask Congress for $1.8 billion in emergency funding to combat the Zika virus through mosquito control programs, vaccine research, education and improving health care for low-income pregnant women, the White House said Monday.

The new request comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that its emergency operations center has been put on a “Level 1” status — its highest level of activation — because of the Zika outbreak. The CDC has only put its operations center at Level 1 three times in the past: during the Ebola outbreak in 2014; during the H1N1 pandemic in in 2009; and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Obama’s spending proposal includes $355 million in foreign aid to South America, Central America, the Caribbean, where the Zika virus is spreading most rapidly. The World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency last week, warning that the mosquito-borne virus is strongly suspected as the cause of a cluster of cases of microcephaly, a neurological disorder that afflicts the babies of pregnant women with the virus.

The United States Olympic Committee also said that that American athletes and staff concerned about Zika virus should consider not going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The message was delivered in a conference call involving USOC officials and leaders of U.S. sport federations in late January, according to two people who participated in the call.

Federations were told that no one should go to Brazil “if they don’t feel comfortable going. Bottom line,” said Donald Anthony, president and board chairman of USA Fencing.

If history of Obama’s prognostications is any indication, the Zika outbreak continue to be a public health crisis for some time.

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Comments

legacyrepublican | February 9, 2016 at 10:16 am

How about just legalizing DDT instead?

Our county in southern Florida got 2 more confirmed cases today. There are still Mosquitos everywhere, and the border is still effectively open.

A virologist I work with said that Zika virus isn’t something to be overly concerned about. It’s an enveloped virus similar to West Nile virus and should warrant a similar level of caution, so more with young children and the elderly. The connection between Zika and microcephaly appears to be tenuous right now as well.

So promoting a healthy level of concern and additional funding are more than adequate responses to the current situation.

    MattMusson in reply to RandomOpinion. | February 9, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    The President is not really worried. He just sees this as a chance to channel $1.8 billion into the pockets of his friends and supporters.

    Look for inner city organizing groups to receive large federal grants to educate people about the virus.

      RandomOpinion in reply to MattMusson. | February 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      I think that’s the bigger issue. $1.8 billion for Zika research etc. is fine if all of that money is accountable. Most government spending is unaccountable or inqdequatley monitored unfortunately.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to RandomOpinion. | February 9, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Zika is like the water in Flint, Michigan:

    1) It affects fewer people than we are being led to believe (in the case of Zika, the problem is with women who get infected at just the right point in pregnancy, in the case Flint, you have to have bad pipes. The connection was entirely missed in the case of zika until theer were thousands of cases at the same time in anewly exposed population

    2) Those who it does affect may be affected severely, but there are many people slightly affected.

    Microcephaly is also caused by other viruses, especially maybe CMV.

Obama is always telling the rubes not to panic over things, he, himself, does not worry about. Things like diseases from far away lands and Islamists who want to kill us all. Yet, he would happily create a national panic over ordinary citizens lawfully carrying firearms for self defense.

He seems to find it quite frustrating that so few of us are as wise as he is.

As long as the money actually gets spent on “mosquito control programs, vaccine research, education and improving health care for low-income pregnant women” as opposed to “community organizing” and the funding of short-lived corporate entities whose purpose is to divert funds to political friends and then go bankrupt, I am fine with it.

Control of disease-carrying mosquito populations is a problem that has been with us for decades, and will continue to be with us for the foreseeable future.

I would note that, while there appears to be an identifiable variety of invasive mosquito currently carrying several types of disease parasites, there is no reason to believe that these diseases can’t be passed to other mosquitos. However, if we take aggressive steps to target the invasive species as it penetrates our borders, we are likely to be able to stop the problem while it remains small as well as preserve other insects and animals that can be affected by our efforts.

Never. Let. An. Opportunity. Go. To. Waste.

More seriously, yes, mosquito abatement, DDT, better education about how the disease is transmitted, and some common sense would work. I don’t think Champ is advocating any of that.

Why does your subhead say “yet”? This implies that there’s some contradiction between not panicking and asking for money to do something about it. And yet in the article you agree with 0bama on both counts (as do I). There is no cause for panic, but there is cause for concern, and for serious eradication efforts so that we will never have to panic.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Milhouse. | February 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Milhouse: what requires $1.8 billion dollars in response to Zika virus? Please explain. I’m a physician, I know the CDC, and I don’t see what takes $1.8 billion in ‘response’.

    “Mosquito control programs, vaccine research, education and improving health care for low-income pregnant women”? DDT is cheap. Vaccines aren’t made by throwing money at them. And I’m guessing Planned Parenthood will get the largest chunk of the money that goes to ‘pregnant women’ — after all, you wouldn’t want to give birth to an infected child, would you?

    Pah.

    As I said above, “never let a crisis go to waste” — that’s the mantra of Democrats.

Don’t worry Mr.President.
There’s no more panic left.
Seven years watching you destroy America, you drained all the panic out of us.

I know where we can find the money for the CDC to fight the Zika virus. All they need to do is to zero out all of the CDC funding for gun research and global warming projects and there should be plenty of money.
/snark
Yeah, like that would happen.

Dr. Obama weighs in again. Yawn.

BTW – Scuttlebutt in the Caribbean is that Zika has nothing to do with the birth defects. Zika has been around forever and not caused these problems in the past. Timing suggests a botched vaccine program is to blame.

To be taken with a grain of salt, but with this administration who knows?

Africans still laugh when they recall that Obama advised them to normalize transgender/homosexual males in their societies. The behavior underlying the HIV pandemic that decimated African populations.

Then there are the humanitarian disasters created by his peacemaking and progressive wars in the interests of social justice.

Democrats really do have a morbid instinct for establishing monopolies, which is not limited to the resumption of sacrificial rites under their pro-choice religion.

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