— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) May 22, 2016
I’m probably gonna get dinged for chicken-littling, because hey, no Ebola outbreak happened in America, right? And yet… “White House Ebola response coordinator from 2014 to 2015” Klain’s Washington Post article:
The good news is that both the House and Senate have finally passed bills that would provide some funding to combat the Zika virus. The bad news is that this action comes more than three months after President Obama requested the aid. Moreover, the House bill provides only one-third of the response needed; pays for this limited, ineffective response by diverting money allocated to fight other infectious diseases; and necessitates a conference committee to resolve differences with the Senate bill, meaning we still do not know when any money will finally get through Congress to fund the response…
As befuddling as Congress’ refusal to approve funds for the Zika response is, perhaps even more of a mystery is why such approval is needed in the first place. If nature was threatening us with serious injury and evacuations via fire, flood or hurricane, the president could use his authority under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to provide immediate aid without waiting for Congress to act. The fact that epidemic “natural disasters” are the result of disease and not an earthquake or tornado should not constrain the federal government’s ability to provide a timely, comprehensive response…
— tim hert (@TimHert) May 22, 2016
Speaking of those damaged babies? Once the Zika virus gets established in “our” mosquitos, microcephaly is going to become yet another standard prenatal test for women in the afflicted areas. Or who’ve visited those areas. Or whose male partners were exposed to Zika, even months before the pregnancy. And by the time microcephaly can be diagnosed, it’s too late for a quiet ‘medical abortion‘ — women will need full surgical services, and most will have been visibly pregnant. It’s not going to be easy for ‘fundamentalist’ anti-choicers to find reasons to blame good married Christian white ladies in the Sunbelt for having been bitten by the wrong mosquito… but I’m sure they’re gonna try their damndest.
JUST IN: CDC: 279 pregnant women in U.S. states and territories show lab evidence of possible Zika virus infection. pic.twitter.com/tkRBQv90Bq
— ABC News (@ABC) May 20, 2016
And while we’re on the topic…
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen calls for a comprehensive evaluation of the potential for the Olympics to spread Zika. https://t.co/lsAmozEmzW
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) May 19, 2016
… The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dismissed the idea of cancelling or postponing the games, but CDC spokesperson Tom Skinner told FP by email that the organization is researching whether the Olympics could spread Zika worldwide, especially through the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
“CDC researchers are studying the estimated Olympic delegation size for each country attending the Games and their usual travel volume to and from Brazil – and comparing that to the ability of the Aedes aegypti to circulate in their country, whether they have a history of epidemic dengue and their ability to support an outbreak response,” said Skinner.
Shaheen said that while she is worried for the United States, where Zika is almost certain to spread, the potential impact on developing countries could be even more severe.
“We saw that with the Ebola virus, the countries in Africa that were infected did not have the same ability to respond as industrialized countries,” she said.
Countries have found a variety of ways to prepare their athletes for the games, such as providing window screens, air conditioners, and protective clothing.
Some of the preparations so far have been creative, if not exactly comforting. The Australian Olympic team, for example, will be provided with condoms containing VivaGel, an antiviral lubricant that the manufacturer says can help stop the spread of Zika.
But the problem with Zika, said Shaheen, is that new information comes to light about how the virus spreads and what the effects are comes to almost daily….
Repubs don't care as much about Zika as they did about Ebola bc the public can't be as easily manipulated to fear dying from Zika
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) May 24, 2016
Surely we can count on Republicans, especially those who support their current presidential nominee, to respond with all the sophistication for which Donald Trump is renowned…
@ABC going to have to stop using pepper spray on illegals and switch to pesticides
— Emmanuel Patton (@mannykpatton) May 20, 2016