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Congress Approves $1.1 Billion for Zika

The money will go toward vaccine development and assisting communities at risk.

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

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WIKIPEDIA, ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOLUS lawmakers passed a budget bill Wednesday evening (September 28) that included $1.1 billion for efforts to combat the ongoing Zika virus outbreak in the Americas. According to NPR’s Shots, $394 million is slated for mosquito control, $397 million for vaccine and diagnostics development, and $66 million for health care.

“The process of getting this funding across the finish line has been frustrating at times and bogged down in unnecessary political gamesmanship,” Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) said on the House floor, according to the Miami Herald.

President Barack Obama had asked for $1.9 billion back in February. The bill endured a months-long delay because of disagreements in the spending package, such as whether money could be used to fund Planned Parenthood (a proposed ban was eventually dropped).

As health agencies awaited Zika funding this year, officials had been reallocating money for other concerns...

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