The timing couldn’t be more wrong for head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We’re out of money, and we need Congress to act to allow us to respond effectively,” said Tom Frieden during a roundtable in Washington. Cases in the states are continuing to surface and we’re in peak mosquito season. Unprecedented travel advisories have been issued in cities like Miami, Florida where mosquitoes have actively been spreading Zika.
Frieden claims the $222 million that was allocated to the CDC specifically for Zika response this year will have gone by the end of September. More than 75% of that money has already been committed to prevention of the virus. Congress negotiations fell through for a $1.9 billion package in June so money has been shifted from the Department of Health and Human Services to fund the response. With the lack of action from Congress, and the mosquito season to reach its peak in October, Frieden expects to see more Zika cases. There have been 17 babies diagnosed with microcephaly, the Zika-related neurological problem.