Zika Outbreak Shines Light On Public Health Vulnerabilities
With diminished public health funding following budget cuts, state and local officials across the country say they would be hard pressed to handle outbreaks such as Zika. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama asked Congress for $1.9 billion in emergency spending to combat the virus.
Zika Virus Exposes Weaknesses In Public Health
State health officials were heartened when President Barack Obama this month asked Congress for $1.8 billion to combat the spread of the Zika virus because they fear they don’t have the resources to fight the potentially debilitating disease on their own. Budget cuts have left state and local health departments seriously understaffed and, officials say, in a precariously dangerous situation if the country has to face outbreaks of two or more infectious diseases — such as Zika, new strains of flu, or the West Nile and Ebola viruses — at the same time. (Ollove, 2/22)
Obama Urges Congress To Act Quickly To Approve Zika Funding
President Obama on Monday formally requested $1.9 billion in emergency funding for the US response to the Zika virus outbreak and urged Congress to take action “expeditiously.” (Scott, 2/22)