Marco Rubio supports $1.9 billion Zika funding proposal - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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rubioDuring a press conference Friday, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio broke ranks with his party and expressed his support for spending $1.9 billion to address the Zika virus issue; however, he stressed that taxpayer money must only be spent on programs to combat the Zika virus, using the example of Hurricane Sandy relief on not how to do it.

“From the federal prospective, the president has proposed, and I support the spending of $1.9 billion to help our local and state jurisdictions address what needs to be done on this issue, Sen Rubio said.

Marco Rubio Image/donkeyhotey

Marco Rubio
Image/donkeyhotey

“I had asked the president along with others that about $500 million of unspent Ebola money be repurposed for Zika. The president announced that they would do so this week. There of course remains an unallocated fund and we’ll be working towards achieving that.”

Rubio then went on to discuss the four areas that must be focused on:

“The first, of course, is the need for improvements in our diagnostics and the ability to diagnose and quickly identify who has been potentially impacted by this and so there are things we can do through the Center for Disease Control and Health and Human Services to improve the availability of diagnostics for patients, particularly at the point of treatment, at the point in a doctor’s office or quickly thereafter, so someone who may be potentially impacted by this would know that they are a carrier.

“The second is the need for vector control, or as we would call, mosquito control.  And that’s an ongoing issue, and we’ve talked about it, we are not going to get rid of mosquitos.  They been here before mankind walked the Earth, and they’ll be here for a long time.  So we’re not going to wipe out every mosquito in the world, but we are going to have to deal with it and there are things that we can do in government to ensure and assist with that.

“The third is, of course, the hope that we can develop a vaccine. That would be the ideal outcome.  And to ensure that sufficient federal funding is going to the NIH and other agencies that are providing the basic research necessary to ultimately commercialize a vaccine so that this Zika virus can go the way of so many other issues that have impacted people throughout time.

“But I think the most important message today – there are two very important messages: the first is there is no crisis, this is an issue that we are going to confront, we want to get ahead of these issues.  The best way to confront something is before it becomes a crisis, you prevent it.  We know how to do this in Florida, we know how to do this in south Florida.  Because we are a gateway community, any time there is an outbreak of anything from Dengue to Ebola, we’re on the front lines of it, and we take steps to address it, and we are doing that again. And I have full confidence in our local and state officials’ ability to address this issue, particularly if they’re properly resourced.

“But the other message is government can’t solve this problem all by itself.  The majority of the work it will take to ensure that we can protect our people is on people. Meaning make sure that your pool is not going green and it becomes a breeding ground for mosquitos.  Make sure that when you’re going out, especially in the mornings and in the evenings, you’re using not just sunscreen, but you’re using mosquito repellant.  Make sure that you’re protecting yourselves.  Make sure that if you travel to a part of the world that’s been impacted by this that you’re being screened to ensure that you’re not a carrier so you don’t infect a partner, or perhaps and most certainly if you’re pregnant, make sure that you are going to your practitioner and getting the advice that you need about future travel, and so forth. I think a lot of this is about going to people and saying there are simple, common sense things you can do not just to protect yourself from Zika, but to protect yourself from any mosquito borne illness, which has confronted mankind forever.

“And so that’s our hope here today, to create both awareness, a sense of understanding that your local officials are involved in addressing this issue in a responsible way. And I want people to know that while I’m supportive of fully funding the president’s initiative on this, I want to make sure that the money, when appropriated, will be appropriately spent on what we’re trying to address here.”

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16 Comments

  1. How can any money or effort be assigned to Zika until we have 100% agreement and understanding by all scientists and doctors? We have the paradigm, which Rubio supports, regarding climate change. The exact same standard should certainly be applied to Zika. No public money or resources should be expended until every and all scientific data has been collected, analyzed and thoroughly understood and agreed to by all scientists, doctors, religious denominations, politicians and talk show hosts.

    • Eddie Gonzalez says:

      This is a serious virus that has already affected 100 of thousand in Latin America. The virus is expected to spread through Southern US in Spring and early Summer like wild fire. This is not about climate change moron. If you had a spouse infected with the virus and you knew your child will be born deformed, you’ll be thinking differently. Quit your stupid politics BS and face reality!!!
      The US government spends $500 on a hammer, but we cannot spend money to find a cure to a virus that could harm millions of new born Babies in the US!! REALLY!

      • Robert Klein says:

        Charles J. Budde is your typical Trump cult follower. If white poorly educated people would be the affected ones, he would be for the program. We must thank Trump, since he has allowed the hidden bigotry and idiocy of that common ilk, to emerge. The good part is that the extremists are being identified and monitored. Morons is a good description.

    • Ed McElhaney says:

      I think you are just a tad too rigid here. Medical science does not completely understand diabetes, cancer, alzheimers, ebola, any variety of influenza or numerous other diseases, but they understand enough to protect a sufficient percentage of the population to a significant degree that the investment is deemed worthwhile. To compare this with climate change is apt. We do not understand what is happening 100%, but we know enough to do things, (or, not do things), in ways that will significantly change the outcome. It’s a little like waiting until a Doctor can tell you exactly when you will die before you quite smoking.

    • Kendall says:

      Apparently, I am the only one who got the sarcasm.

    • Kathy B says:

      OK, everybody. Relax. This is called “satire”. I especially like polling talk show hosts, but maybe include everyone who was ever taken up in a space ship.

  2. Bob Chmela says:

    I guess there is a shortage of actual photographs of Senator Rubio so you decided to use a cartoon????

    • Kendall says:

      I notice that too. When I saw the thumbnail, I wondered, “Who photoshopped Rubio to look fat, and why?” It’s not a flattering cartoon.

      On a totally different note, it’s good to see Rubio coming out and openly admitting that he believes in evolution (the mosquito comment). I suppose that’s a step forward.

  3. tboat says:

    When Ebola hit , yall criticized Obama for not doing enough. now he’s trying to do something about Zika, and yall complain.

  4. mike says:

    yes let’s just keep throwing $$ into the air! Yea! Stop wasting our $$$$$$$!

  5. While the government wastes money on a vaccine (which, at earliest available, would be years past the outbreak), we have a real solution -right now! Re-purposed, currently marketed anti-malarial drugs are the most suitable drug candidates for immediate clinical testing for use in protecting against the Zika Virus infection, including Zika Virus fetal syndrome and GBS. These compounds are autophagy inhibitors, and in vitro testing has demonstrated efficacy. The lead candidates are approved by the FDA for use during pregnancy, and cross the placenta enabling clinically significant pharmacodistribution to both mother and fetus. What Atheric Pharmaceutical has accomplished so far: Research and Meta-analysis of drug compounds, review paper published in PLoS NTD. Patents filed, with due diligence performed for field of use. In-vitro screening of compounds ongoing, with lead drugs candidates identified within range for prophylactic and therapeutic indicators, using High Content Imaging ZIKV/Vero infection/foreskin fibroblast assays. FDA involvement, with pre-IND meeting initiated. Two different clinical Trials in development, with clinical site selection ongoing in two countries. Atheric has anti-ziral drugs and just needs a bit of money to begin clinical trials. It is being completely ignored by the US government. Why? Because in January, NIAID decided that once again, vaccines are the answer. When will the US Gov get it right? Evidently, not this time around!

  6. Bob tehr says:

    Charles, we don’t need 100% concurrence by scientists. They are smarter. All that is required is 100% approval by talks show hosts and those who say “I am not scientist BUT …”. Of course it is essential for president Obama to be against it.

    This is the rule of inclusion and yes Rubio just abundant it for the first time.

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