Clinton: Congress must approve Zika funding

Clinton: Congress must approve Zika funding
© Greg Nash
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDershowitz to The Atlantic: Do not violate Constitution to safeguard it Why Joe Biden (or any moderate) cannot be nominated GOP Rep. Tom Marino resigns from Congress MORE is slamming Congress for ignoring a request from President Obama for $1.8 billion to fight the Zika virus.
“The president asked for this funding over a month ago, but on Saturday, Congress will begin a two-week break without having allocated one penny,” Clinton wrote in a Medium post Friday.
Zika that has spread through South and Central America and made its way into the U.S., with nearly 200 confirmed cases in states like Florida, Texas and New York.
Zika is linked to microcephaly, a birth defect where babies are born with unusually small heads, which can lead to developmental delays. It is primarily spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, though those who are infected can spread it through sexual contact.
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Chris StewartChristopher (Chris) Douglas StewartDem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King House vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House passes resolution condemning white nationalism MORE (R-Utah) would boost funding to research the Zika virus by giving federal agencies flexibility to use money originally allocated to combat Ebola.
Stewart’s office said that as of September, close to half of the $2.4 billion in funding allocated by Congress in 2014 to fight Ebola is unused. But Clinton argued that money is still being funneled to Ebola-fighting initiatives.
“Congressional Republicans said the Administration should use funds left over from fighting Ebola — even though that money is still being used,” she said.
Clinton said additional appropriations from Congress would go toward developing a rapid diagnostic test for Zika, a vaccine and treatment.
“Zika is real. It’s dangerous. It’s already in the United States,” Clinton said. “We need to act now to protect people, especially pregnant women.”