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Springtime in D.C. Means Mosquitoes — and Zika

Author: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
March 29, 2016
Foreign Policy

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When Congress left town before Easter for its spring break, it did so just having refused to take a vote on President Barack Obama’s request for $1.9 billion in special funds to fight the Zika virus. On March 22, House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters, “There is plenty of money in the pipeline right now, money that is not going to Ebola, that was already in the pipeline, that can go immediately to Zika” and that could be “reprogrammed,” as he put it.

But as the American South warms and mosquitoes swarm out of hibernation, political leaders will discover the folly in failing to front-load Zika control funds. Playing catch-up with mosquitoes is a losing game for humanity: Ask the Brazilians, who have thrown every anti-insect weapon that can be imagined, from a range of pesticides to genetically modified mosquitoes, into their Zika arsenal.

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