By DAN DIAMOND
Advocates warn that Congressional funding is sorely needed. Congressional inaction on committing additional funding to combat the Zika virus, along with proposed budget cuts to federal health agencies, could increase the risk for virus outbreaks this summer, public health experts from Big Cities Health Coalition, the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the March of Dimes told reporters on Wednesday.
“Failing to fund this system will be catastrophic,” said Dr. Oscar Alleyne, NACCHO's senior advisor for public health programs. The $1.1 billion that Congress allocated toward fighting Zika is expected to run out in September and the White House’s initial budget proposes more than $1 billion in cuts to the CDC budget.
… NACCHO's Laura Hanen said that the Trump administration’s proposed CDC budget cuts, along with funding cuts to epidemiology and lab services, will limit the ability of local and state health departments to track the disease and contain outbreaks.
“The fact that the President’s budget would present such a deep cut when we are dealing with emergencies,” she said, “would have a deleterious impact on Zika.”