Congress Zika Virus

The CDC Issues a New Zika Virus Travel Warning

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) previously issued a travel warning for a particular section of Miami, but their travel warning was expanded this afternoon.

The CDC has issued a new warning against traveling to Miami Beach which is a pretty big deal at this time of year.

As a result of the new area of transmission, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its travel warning, urging pregnant women to avoid both the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami, where the first local transmissions occurred, and a 1.5-square-mile area in Miami Beach located between 8th and 28th Streets.

The CDC also said that pregnant women and their sexual partners who are worried about potential Zika exposure might consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.

I'm sure the CDC knows better than I do, but I have to say I'm slightly bewildered by the idea that the location of virus-carrying misquotes can be narrowed down to specific streets or blocks.

In any event, our Republican-controlled Congress is still on vacation just as they have been since the middle of July. Congress recessed for the Summer without sending a bill to President Obama's task to fund the fight against the virus, but that hasn't stopped them from blaming him.

As you may recall, Congressional Republicans did advance a bill to appropriate funds to fight the virus, however their bill also included cuts for Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, and environmental regulation. Their bill also never passed the Senate.

How is the Obama administration fighting the Zika virus without more funding provided by Congress?

Money leftover from the fight against Ebola has already been spent so the administration was forced to divert $81 million in funding for other programs to fight the Zika virus, including millions of dollars that would otherwise be used to fight opioid addiction.

That fact was not lost on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), whose state has been among the hardest hit by an addiction crisis that tallied up some 47,000 deaths nationally in 2014, including nearly 19,000 from prescription painkillers and more than 10,500 related to heroin.

“It’s been 189 days since the administration has requested funding to respond to Zika, and now they are forced to resort to desperate measures which include taking funds from another underfunded health emergency, the opioid epidemic,” said Shaheen in a statement. “Ignoring the immediate funding needs of these health emergencies is legislative negligence.”

  • muselet

    Reporters pressed [Florida governor Rick] Scott on the timeliness of the announcement, which was first reported in the Miami Herald on Thursday and was confirmed by many other news outlets on Thursday, including Reuters.

    “We recognize the desire for information quickly, but it is important that we conduct our interviews and investigations pursuant to epidemiological standards,” Scott said.

    Reporters charged Scott with underplaying Zika transmission and delaying confirmation to minimize the effect on tourism in the state.

    Scott said the state was taking every measure to ensure the information they provided to the public was accurate.

    In a press conference later on Friday, however, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine expressed frustration with Scott and the state’s health department for keeping him and other elected officials in the dark about the island-city’s five locally transmitted Zika cases.

    Levine said mayors across Miami received the information at the same time as media.

    Here’s a thought. Perhaps Rick Scott should let officials in affected areas know what’s actually going on, and phone up congressional Rs and demand a Zika bill instead of holding press conferences and begging the CDC for more help.

    But that would be too much like work, I suppose.


  • Victor the Crab

    Mitch McConnell needs to be hounded and shamed and physically harassed for his abject failing to do his job n preventing the spread of the Zika virus onto American shores while he tries to lay the blame at he feet of President Obama, who has been trying to get congress to fund this obvious threat. Mitch McConnell is a fucking blight on America that deserves to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail for his blatant partisan behavior in D.C. all these years.

  • Wildson

    Dear Leader Turtle McConnell, why don’t you do your job and send President Obama a REAL bill.