Democrats in the Senate have pushed away funding for the Zika virus as reports from Florida indicate that seven more people have tested positive for the Zika virus, which they have acquired locally (most likely through mosquito bites).
And, more troubling, there is a case of non-travel related Zika that has been contracted outside of the two zones that have had all the known locally acquired cases to this date.
…The Florida Department of Health confirmed on Tuesday that six more people contracted the virus in the tourist hot spot of Miami Beach. Over the past month, 40 people have contracted Zika from mosquitoes in Miami Beach and a second South Florida location – the Wynwood art district just north of downtown Miami. Those two areas have become the focus of health officials, mosquito control efforts and travel warnings for pregnant women from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Now, the department says someone has contracted the virus outside those two zones. The department said the new case was identified in Miami-Dade County, but would not specify where until officials can test relatives, close contacts and neighbors of the person to determine if it’s an active outbreak or just an isolated case…
The Democrats in the U.S. Senate have swatted down Zika funding, citing problems with provisions related to Planned Parenthood.
As Congress returned from a seven-week recess on Tuesday, Senate Democrats again stymied a $1.1 billion plan to fight the Zika virus, demanding that Republicans drop an effort to block Planned Parenthood from receiving money to combat the mosquito-borne disease.
Democrats, who had essentially blocked the same legislation in late June, had enough votes Tuesday to prevent Congress from moving emergency funding public health experts say is desperately needed as they prepare for the possibility that Zika will spread to other states along the Gulf coast. The vote was 52 to 46, and Republicans needed 60 votes to advance the bill.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, said that although efforts to fight the virus had produced encouraging results, the problem was far from over.
“It’s hard to explain why, despite their own calls for funding, Democrats would block plans to keep women and babies safe from Zika,” Mr. McConnell said before the vote.
Not really! Planned Parenthood is a sacred cow few Democrats dare touch.
However, Republicans are readying other funding options.
Lawmakers and congressional staff who have been working behind the scenes to reach a deal on Zika already have shifted their focus to making sure that money for the Zika fight makes it into any budget deal or continuing resolution that Congress must pass to avert a government shutdown at the end of September.
Although continuing resolutions by definition maintain current funding levels, lawmakers could add emergency funds for natural disasters like the floods in Louisiana or wildfires in the West, as well as for Zika.
With so many natural disasters, surely there should be plenty of funding that may help stem the spread of Zika. However, if the Congress could tie the monies to Obama foreign policy disasters, there would certainly be enough money and change to spare.DONATE
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