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Sen. Schatz Comments on Zika Package Funding

September 23, 2016, 8:54 AM HST
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Sen. Mazie Hirono and Gov. David Ige get a firsthand look at Hawaii Biotech’s developement of a Zika virus vaccine. Photo courtesy Office of Sen. Mazie Hirono.

Sen. Mazie Hirono and Gov. David Ige get a firsthand look at Hawaii Biotech’s developement of a Zika virus vaccine. Photo courtesy Office of Sen. Mazie Hirono.

US Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) issued the following statement after an agreement was made to include a $1.1 billion funding package for Zika research and protection in the latest funding resolution.

“We appear to have a deal on Zika that will help us to address this dangerous disease,” said Sen. Schatz. “This is especially important for Hawai‘i because we have one of the mosquitos that carries the virus. This disease is now well established in the United States, with thousands of cases reported in Florida and the US territories. Our critical public health agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are in desperate need of funding to combat Zika. It’s time we finally move forward with providing the CDC with the resources it needs.”

Sen. Schatz has been a leading voice on the need to pass Zika funding.

Earlier this month, Sens. Schatz and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) sent a letter signed by 27 Senate colleagues to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), urging him to bring the Senate-passed bipartisan Zika funding bill up for a vote in the House.

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