WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after the Senate voted to approve $1.1 billion in emergency funds to combat the growing threat posed by the Zika virus. Earlier this week, Carper urged his colleagues to support efforts by the Obama Administration to proactively respond to the growing threat of the Zika virus by approving the full $1.9 billion in funding requested in order to stay ahead of a virus that the World Health Organization has designated a Public Health Emergency of International Concern – only the fourth time it has used this designation.
“The $1.1 billion approved today is an important step forward in our fight to address the impending threat of the Zika virus. Reports of this virus are troubling, especially with warmer weather and mosquito season upon us. This emergency funding will be critical for researchers and agencies working quickly to curb its spread.
“While I’m pleased that a compromise could finally be reached on this funding, I’m disappointed that we did not fully fund the President’s request for $1.9 billion. Congress, the Administration and state and local governments have a responsibility to the American people to fully combat the health risks posed by Zika. Just like with our response to Ebola, our response to Zika must be an all-hands-on-deck effort. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress to make sure we are doing our part to stop the spread of this virus.”