Public Health Takes Back Seat to Partisan Politics on Zika

By: Kevin Nix, Senior Director of Communications

The biggest health care battle in D.C. has now officially become a stalemate. Badly needed legislation providing states the funding they need to wrestle down the Zika virus failed yesterday. That’s not good news for Texas and Florida, the most at-risk states for the spread of the mosquito-borne virus known to cause severe birth defects.

Houston Mayor Turner has urged Texas Governor Abbott to declare Zika a public health emergency so millions of dollars would be freed up to help manage the spread of the locally. Harris County has had 13 known cases of Zika.

The mayor, correctly, is trying to get ahead of this. But it’s hard to get ahead of something when funds from D.C. and Austin just aren’t available because of partisan squabbling. What happened to protecting all Americans, especially pregnant women, against the next infectious disease expected to hit this country?

Let’s hope when lawmakers returns from their July 4th recess they break the stalemate by passing a bipartisan funding bill – instead of reinforcing how broken American politics is.