Burwell to brief lawmakers on Zika virus

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The Obama administration will dispatch a top official to Capitol Hill to update lawmakers about the Zika virus amid growing concern about the disease. 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell will brief leadership and relevant committees next week, after McConnell requested a meeting. 
{mosads}”I appreciate the secretary’s willingness to meet this request in such a timely matter and I know the information will be useful to members and their constituents,” he added. 
McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) discussed the virus, among other public health concerns, with Obama during a White House meeting on Tuesday. After the sit-down, McConnell publicly pressed the president to get ahead of the virus, warning that they don’t need to see a repeat of the panic that surrounded the Ebola virus in 2014. 
“I think we could all benefit from having a better understanding of what preparations are being made to protect Americans” as the United States heads toward summer, McConnell added Wednesday. 
The briefing comes after a growing number of lawmakers, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who is running for president, have pushed the administration for details on what it is doing to prepare for a potential outbreak of the Zika virus in the United States. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday confirmed the first case of someone being infected with the virus in the United States via sexual transmission. 
Administration officials have previously said that any potential Zika outbreak within the United States would likely be limited. 
Tags Ebola Mitch McConnell Zika virus

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