While the first American baby to be born with the Zika virus was born in Hawaii, a baby with “severe” birth defects has now been born inside the mainland United States in the state of New Jersey.
From the New York Times:
A baby girl delivered on Tuesday at a New Jersey hospital was born with the Zika virus, the mosquito-borne disease that can cause unusually small heads and brain damage in newborns, a doctor said. […]
Dr. Alvarez said the baby had severe microcephaly, an unusually small head, often accompanied by brain damage, which is characteristic of the virus. He added that to his knowledge, it was the first baby in the Northeast to be born with Zika.
Fittingly, Congress is currently on recess and did not agree on a Zika funding bill before departing for recess last Friday.
It remains to be seen if this story will bolster proponents of fully granting President Obama’s request for funding, but I’m not necessarily anticipating that it will. I’m not convinced that anything short of one of their own family members contracting the virus will compel conservative congressmen to act.
The White House is already acting, of course, but the administration is using what’s left of the funding appropriated to fight the Ebola virus which is only a fraction of the funding the White House has requested.