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.”