February 6, 2016

PRIORITIES: As Zika Virus Reaches D.C., Congress Calls for Action.

As the Zika virus reaches the United States and the nation’s capital, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for an urgent response to prevent its spread, and are scheduling briefings and committee hearings to address it.

District of Columbia health officials confirmed this week three cases of the virus in D.C., including one pregnant woman. On Friday, Senate Democrats wrote to President Barack Obama, calling for an “urgent and aggressive response” to the virus.

“We believe that a well-coordinated interagency response plan, coupled with strong investments in our research and response programs, is critical to addressing the Zika virus,” the senators wrote.

They called on the president to take a series of steps including directing USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services to analyze gaps between international and national responses; developing a national strategy to monitor, identify and report infections; increasing research efforts; and coordinating federal agencies.

If only there were some . . . substance that would kill mosquitoes en masse.

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