CDC Head: The Window Is Closing On Opportunity To Effectively Fight Zika
On the same day Congress left town without approving money to fight the outbreak, Dr. Tom Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned that time is running out. He knows how to change the course of an epidemic, he says, but he can't because his hands are tied on funding. Key House Republicans say, however, that more money will be coming and the government's efforts have not been hamstrung.
CDC Director: 'We're Losing Time With Zika'
The nation’s top disease official warned Thursday that he is running out of time to prevent a Zika outbreak — the same day Congress left town without approving more funds to fight the virus. “We have a narrow window of opportunity to scale up effective Zika prevention measures, and that window of opportunity is closing,” Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a speech at the National Press Club. (Ferris, 5/26)
CDC Head Tom Frieden Delivers Emotional Plea For Zika Funding
Dr. Tom Frieden has dealt with a number of epidemics during his seven-year tenure as director of the Centers for Disease Control. But the rapidly spreading Zika virus, the terrifying birth defects it causes and Congress’ inexplicable foot-dragging on funding anti-Zika efforts has him feeling downright desperate. “Imagine that you’re standing by and you see someone drowning, and you have the ability to stop them from drowning, but you can’t,” Frieden told a packed room of reporters and potential donors at the National Press Club on Thursday. “Now multiply that by 1,000 or 100,000. That’s what it feels like to know how to change the course of an epidemic and not be able to do it.” (Bassett, 5/26)
CDC Director Has Had To Borrow To Fund Zika Battle
Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Thursday recounted some of the more startling experiences he's had as the agency fights the Zika virus, including seeing the tests results that confirmed the virus causes microcephaly, watching mosquitoes that spread it apparently unfazed by a popular insecticide and being told his request for emergency funding would take at least three months. (Muchmore, 5/27)
The Associated Press:
CDC Urges Speed On Zika As House Moves To Negotiate Funding
The U.S. must act more quickly to protect pregnant women from birth defect-causing Zika, a top health official said Thursday even as the House left town for its Memorial Day recess with no visible progress toward a congressional compromise on emergency funding to battle the virus."In a public health emergency, speed is critical. A day, a week, a month can make all of the difference," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the National Press Club. (5/26)
Democrats Blast GOP For Leaving DC Without Passing Zika Funds
Democrats on Thursday blasted Republicans for departing Washington for the Memorial Day recess -- the traditional start of summer -- without approving funds to respond to the mosquito-borne Zika virus and other pressing needs. (Barrett, 5/26)
The Associated Press:
House-Senate Talks Begin On Obama’s Zika Funding Request.
The GOP-controlled House has moved to officially begin talks on legislation to fund the fight against the Zika virus, but lawmakers immediately left town for the Memorial Day recess with no visible progress toward a compromise. The chamber adopted a procedural motion to begin a House-Senate conference panel on a Senate measure that combines $1.1 billion to fight Zika with broader spending bills for transportation, housing and veterans. (Taylor, 5/26)
Meanwhile, Frieden says there's no public health reason to cancel the Olympics —
U.S. Health Official Says Zika Not A Reason To Cancel Olympics
The widespread Zika virus outbreak in Brazil does not pose enough of a threat to warrant canceling or putting off the Olympic Games set to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August, a leading U.S. health official said on Thursday. (Berkrot, 5/26)