Zika funds already available–why ask for more tax money? –Sen. Grassley

While the Obama administration complains that Congress hasn’t appropriate emergency funding to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the federal government is sitting on hundreds of millions of available but unspent tax money. That’s according to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. According to Grassley, the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services identified $589 million in funds already available but largely unspent more than three months after the health emergency was declared in January.

“[Federal] agencies have been slow to distribute available federal funds to fight the illness and short on effective strategies and information to the public.”–Sen. Chuck Grassley

Read: 35 Facts and Controversies About Zika

Grassley issued a statement saying, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an annual budget of $11.7 billion. The taxpayers have the right to expect that these agencies are ready to protect all of us from public health threats. I look forward to answers on how the $589 million to fight Zika is being spent, as well as information on what the agencies are doing with their existing resources. Agency actions ought to reflect the level of urgency in agency comments about the Zika outbreak.”

Read: Sen. Grassley letter to CDC

Zika has been brought into the U.S. from those who travelled to Zika-infested countries. CDC says it expects Zika to spread as more travelers enter the U.S. and, while in the infectious stage, are bitten by mosquitoes who then transmit the virus to others. Zika is considered a mild disease; the vast majority of those who get it do not become ill and have no symptoms. Scientists differ on whether Zika is to blame for a rash of serious birth defects in Brazil but not seen in other Zika-infested nations. After several months of debate, CDC adopted the position that Zika and the birth defects are related.

Read: Roll Call article on Sen. Grassley’s query to federal agencies

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6 Responses to “Zika funds already available–why ask for more tax money? –Sen. Grassley”

  1. TRUTH ISNT POLITE
    August 3, 2016 at 6:29 am #

    O, ALREADY STOLE THE FIRST ROUND OF FUNDS AND FUNNELED IT TO SOLAR COMPANIES, TO BANKRUPT AND POCKET IT!!! NOW HE WILL DO IT AGAIN!!!! NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, THAT ZIKA IS A FRAUD… AND VACCINE DAMAGE COVER UP!!!! DTAPP FORCED ON PREGNANT MOTHERS!!!!! ZIKA STD??? OR NEW STD FROM REFUGEES THAT SCREW FARM ANIMALS??? AND HUMANS!!! ALSO BLAMED ON ZIKA, ALSO A COVER UP!!!!

  2. Donna
    August 4, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

    It is hard for me to read about the panic and frenzy over Zika and for the funds sought and already available to deal with it. There IS a very real epidemic in this country and worldwide that has been going on for 30 years unabated called ME/CFS (myalgic encephalopathy or better-known but horribly named Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). It is estimated that about one to two million people in the US have this devastating illness, more than lupus, MS, and many forms of cancer, yet our CDC and NIH have ignored and neglected this illness that cuts off normal life and the futures of so many. Prize winning researchers like Dr. Ron Davis, whose son is severely ill, have had to privately raise funds for research, and male pattern baldness and hay fever receive more funding than ME/CFS. http://stanmed.stanford.edu/2016spring/the-puzzle-solver.html. Four members of my family suffer with ME/CFS- my son, a young doctor who was struck down in his residency and now is homebound, and my daughter, only 12 when she got sick, still ill 13 years later. Please, please consider doing a story on ME/CFS. It is full of unsolved puzzles and intrigue as well as a frightening disregard for the health and well-being of the people of this country. Thank you for your diligence in following the trails of stories that are not being told elsewhere!

  3. Geoffrey Nelson
    August 5, 2016 at 2:23 am #

    You know how conservatives keep saying the government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the economy? When it comes to funding for research and development of vaccines, the impact to pharmaceutical companies is YUGE! At the end of August money runs out on several Zika vaccines under development that rely on research grants/universities to perform the trials. Follow these and decide which stand to gain from government intervention: Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON); Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS); and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) — that continued to get more attention from investors.

    • tom
      August 14, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

      this zika thing might big one giant hoax

  4. Johanna Stephens
    August 10, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    Dear Sharyl,

    Your article about the Zinka “…there is little evidence that the Zika infection itself directly causes the microcephaly birth defect. An insecticide that people were drinking may be the cause.” was very interesting, is there a follow up? In the last day or two, the mosquito is being blamed in Miami for and “out break” of the Zinka virus.

    I would love to know your take on this….is this a real outbreak or ‘follow the money’?

    Thanks so much.

    Best regards,
    Johanna M. Stephens
    Tucson, AZ
    jmyoe34@gmail.com

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