Monday, September 26, 2016

Zika Virus 2016: US Has No Money To Fight Back? Funding Exhausted

Zika Virus 2016: US Has No Money To Fight Back? Funding Exhausted

Flickr/QUIIRI

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning declaring the United States is running out of funds to fight another Zika virus outbreak in the country.

The director of the disease control regulator confirmed the statement on Tuesday. Thomas R. Frieden added that the Congress must adapt relevant strategies to make sure they could retain the fund to fight cases of infection in the future. The director claimed that the fund allocated for combating the disease will be exhausted by late September.

“The cupboard is bare,” Frieden said. “Basically, we’re out of money, and we need Congress to act to allow us to respond effectively.”

According to reports, the agency was provided US$222 million (AU$295 million) for the purpose of fighting the Zika virus. Out of that, US$194 million (AU$258 million) has already been spent in handling the case of the infection until Friday. The director said that the US Congress has suspended the session for summer without approving the finance proposal put forth. While cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been rapidly increasing in Florida, Frieden felt it necessary to issue a warning as an emergency so that it could be dealt with as a priority.

The agency has already sent $35 million (AU$46 million) to Florida, the director said. It has been reported to the agency that a major portion of the fund provided has been spent.

The CDC director stated that the nation is at the peak of its mosquito season, and the agency might not have sufficient resources to respond to the infection if cases are reported after the exhaustion of the fund.

Meanwhile, Senate majority leader’s Deputy Chief of Staff Don Stewart and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell have stated that the Republicans in the Senate will conduct a vote on a Zika proposal of US$1.1 billion on Tuesday as soon as the Congress session resumes.

Where Republicans seem to consider the CDC warning, Democrats seem to block the Zika virus package proposal. The reason behind this, according to NY Times, is that they feel the package will affect the contraception initiative, which could control the transmission of the infection through sex.