On August 3, a coalition of more than fifty national organizations sent a letter (attached below) to Congressional leaders urging them to pass funding to ensure an adequate response to the Zika virus. The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease that presents a serious, imminent threat to the U.S. population, with pregnant women and infants at the greatest risk. Though the virus does not always present immediate symptoms, it can result in microcephaly (underdeveloped brain) in babies born to women who contract the virus, even when exposed well before the onset of pregnancy.
There have been more than a dozen documented locally-transmitted cases of Zika in Florida, and hundreds of pregnant women have been diagnosed with the virus. The letter urges Congress to ensure that a compromise is reached regarding funding for screening and treating Zika so that a viable bill may be passed and signed into law by the President when Congress comes back into session in September.