Congress Stalls Action While Zika Spreads Over
Congress has already returned from the seven-week vacation on Tuesday but once again failed to pass the Zika bill three times in a row now. Presently the virus has spread across the country while an outraged Floridian representative stepped into the House holding a Zika container.
A Recent report from Florida Health Office revealed seven new Zika cases; six of them result of the outbreak in Miami Beach. Florida already documented 56 locally transmitted infections, NBC reported.
Additionally, 35 cases of Zika infections were reported in the continental state, too, while the congress went on vacation. In addition, 14,000 cases more in U.S. territories in Puerto Rico cited from another report.
Meanwhile, the $1.1 billion federal research-funding bill failed to pass legislation in the Senate when the pair of parties only voted 52-46, cutting 60 votes short for Congress to advance forward. A heated battle ensued once recess was taken.
The $1.1 billion Zika bill which has failed to pass since June was offered by the Republican-dominated Congress when President Obama asked for $1.9 billion emergency funding to combat Zika back in February.
In outrage, Republican Rep. David Jolly from Florida created headlines when he brought a Zika filled container inside the Senate floor on Wednesday alarming the entire House of the seriousness of the situation.
"Members of Congress would run down the hall to the physician's office to be tested, they would spray themselves before coming down here. This is the fear of Floridians, right here," said Jolly, according to Fox News.
Notably, the Senate Democrats blocked the Zika funding package, which accompanied Veterans Administration spending bill for the third time on Tuesday.
Reportedly, the budget for Zika is a part of the Planned Parenthood and is the leftover of the Ebola epidemic. Perhaps, this is the reason the budget for health crisis has narrowed.
On the other hand, National Institute for Health was set to move Zika vaccine trial to the next stage, a crucial time with at least 5,000 participants but may have to delay if Congress fails to approve the research funds this month.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell mentioned in August while planning for the second NIH study of infants and pregnant women with Zika but anticipated delay if Congress fails to do the job and provide new funding.
The Congress needs to take action now because every day counts for another possible Zika cases and everyone awaits for the funding of the outrageous Zika plague.