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  1. #1
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Florida: First Zika by mosquitoes transmission in the US

    July 29, 2016, 12:26 am

    Florida: 'High likelihood' of first Zika transmission
    in the US

    07/29/16 10:02 AM EDT

    Florida officials said Friday that there is a "high likelihood" that the first cases of Zika virus being transmitted by mosquitoes in the continental United States have occurred.

    Mosquitoes transmitting Zika in the U.S., what is known as "local transmission," could be a turning point for the virus, though one that health officials have long expected. Before now, all of the cases in the U.S. have occurred when people contracted the virus abroad and then returned to the U.S.

    "At this time, the department believes that active transmission of the Zika virus is occurring in one small area in Miami-Dade County, just north of downtown," the Florida Department of Health said. Officials say that the four cases so far are not enough to warrant pregnant women avoiding travel to the area.

    The department said officials are going door to door to conduct outreach in the affected area.

    While no mosquitoes have been found that have tested positive for Zika, officials said their investigation has concluded that local transmission by mosquitoes is the likely cause of the four cases.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top official at the National Institutes of Health, said at an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center Friday that he thinks "very aggressive mosquito abatement" will prevent the virus from becoming "sustained" in the continental United States.

    While he does not expect a widespread outbreak in the U.S., he said officials need to prepare as though that could happen.

    He also reiterated the need for Congress to pass funding, noting that he might need to delay the Phase II trials for a Zika vaccine if he does not get new funding soon.

    Separately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that Zika cases are "increasing rapidly" in Puerto Rico, and that 5,582 people there now have the virus.

    Funding to combat the Zika virus has been caught in a partisan tug of war in Washington, and Congress left for summer recess without approving any funding.
    “Congress didn’t fund and they went on recess. That’s disappointing,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said Friday. “The federal government needs to do their part. This is not just a Florida issue.”

    The White House sought $1.9 billion in Zika funds, and Democrats pushed congressional Republicans for months to approve the funding. Republicans finally agreed to provide funding, but their $1.1 billion bill included several provisions that Democrats objected to, such as limiting funding to Planned Parenthood and paying for Zika efforts with cuts to ObamaCare and Ebola funds.

    Democrats ended up blocking the funding measure with those provisions, and Republicans refused to negotiate a deal.

    Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) upped the pressure on Democrats to back the GOP funding bill after the announcement on Friday.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the announcement "disturbing."

    Rubio, who is running for reelection, has broken with his party to support the full White House request for $1.9 billion in funding. He is also calling for the administration to devote more money to the fight in the meantime.

    "I urge the Obama Administration to use all the tools at its disposal to reprogram existing public health emergency funding in the short term to deal with Zika,"

    Rubio said in a statement Friday. "As I have said time and time again, both parties in Congress need to get it together and approve funding to combat the Zika virus."

    Democratic Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), meanwhile, pointed to Republicans.

    "I hope today's announcement is a wake-up call to Republicans," Murray said in a statement.

    This story was last updated at 12:25 p.m.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    This is funding that must be processed. Not sure why Republicans would use Planned Parenthood Funding issue as a bargaining tool in an emergency funding issue as important as this one. Was this something the Pro-Life wing of the party dreamed up? Honestly, people. Get it straight. We do not want a bunch of little-headed deformed babies being born and signed up on Medicaid for the rest of their lives because you wouldn't fund Zika virus protection funds. This is not "conservative". It's reckless and STUPID.

    Don't you get it? We're sick and tired of STUPID.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

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