White House urges Congress to act quickly
Back in February, President Barack Obama requested $1.9 billion in funding from Congress to combat the growing threat of Zika Virus in the U.S.
The request, however, has been stalled and there was little movement on the funding side until this week, when the White House announced that it will shift nearly $600 million in unused Ebola funds to combat Zika right now.
As Congress stalls funding, White House says it will move $510 million in unspent Ebola funds to battle Zika virus. https://t.co/kYEuAmdQq0
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 7, 2016
While the $1.9 billion request sits in limbo, the Republican-controlled Congress suggested that the White House draw funds to fight Zika from unused Ebola funds. So the White House said it will redirect $589 million in funds from the Ebola fund to combat Zika virus.
The $589 million in redirected funds will go toward various Zika-related initiatives, including mosquito control, development of vaccines and tests, education about preventing transmission and general support those already infected with the virus.
State of Zika in the U.S.
A section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website is dedicated to reporting the latest news on Zika virus in the U.S. Here are U.S. statistics on Zika through April 6, 2016, according to the CDC:
- Number of travel-related Zika cases in U.S. states: 346
- Number of locally acquired, vector-borne cases in U.S. states: 0 (zero)
- Number of total Zika cases in U.S. states (346) that are pregnant women: 32
- U.S. state with the most confirmed Zika cases: Florida (78)
- U.S. territory with the most locally-acquired cases of Zika: Puerto Rico (325)
- Total number of Zika cases in U.S. states and U.S. territories: 700
- Number of total Zika cases in U.S. states and U.S. territories (700) that are pregnant women: 69
There are no locally acquired cases of Zika virus in any U.S. state, as all cases in U.S. states are confirmed to be travel-related. In U.S. territories, however, there have been 351 reported cases that are considered to be locally acquired, led by Puerto Rico with 325.