13 thoughts on “Money for wars, not for Zika epidemic, says United States Congress

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  6. Yesterday, campaigning for the Senate, I held a town hall meeting in Miami on the Zika virus. In rare instances, the Zika virus can kill you. But the greatest threat is that when a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, and carries the fetus to term, the child often is born with a tiny, deformed brain (known as “microcephaly”). The victims can do little beyond breathing, and they are completely dependent and even unconscious for their whole lives.

    In the past 10 days, there have been 15 “endemic” cases of Zika infection identified in Miami. (These are infections by local mosquitoes, not cases where the victim traveled to some infected area and returned to Miami.) At my town hall meeting, I explained that I have called for Congress to reconvene to pass legislation to stop the Zika virus, through development of a vaccine, mosquito control, etc. But since being a Member of Congress means more than standing on a soap box, I also took the opportunity to inform people in Miami what they could do to protect themselves. Some of these things are obvious, like bug spray. Some are not, like making sure that you don’t leave any flower pots out in the rain, where water can collect and mosquitoes can lay eggs. In fact, we’re spending a good deal of time (and money) in this campaign, educating the public and mobilizing support to fight the Zika threat.

    Imagine that: an elected official, running for office, trying to do something useful. If that’s what you’d like to see, then please contribute $3 or more to help our one-of-a-kind Senate campaign succeed >>

    Which brings us to Marco Rubio. On the same day that I was performing my public service, Marco Rubio announced that under no circumstances should Zika-infected fetuses be aborted.

    I try very hard not to feign indignation, because I see so many others in political life who do that incessantly. However, I’m not feigning it here — Marco Rubio’s position genuinely disgusts me. He not only is relegating pregnant women to the status of baby-making machines, but then also chaining them to the resulting microcephalic victims for the rest of their lives – or making those victims wards of the state for 80 years or so.

    That’s monstrous.

    That is gross interference in the private life and decisions of a woman, all for the sake of some hackneyed bromide like “choose life.” I can’t even conceive of a moral code worthy of the term “moral” that would force that wretched existence onto mothers, would-be and wouldn’t-be mothers alike.

    Which makes it that much more important that we defeat Marco Rubio, and replace him in the U.S. Senate. Donate here, now, and make that happen >>

    Courage,

    Rep. Alan Grayson

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  10. Dear Friend,
    Stop Playing Politics with the Zika Crisis

    It is happening.

    The dangerous Zika epidemic is now rapidly spreading in the United States. There have already been more than 510 cases of Zika in pregnant people living in the United States and at least 15 children have been born with Zika-related neurological damage.1, 2, 3 Health officials are now reporting that Zika will likely spread to other Gulf Coast states like Texas and Louisiana.4

    In February, the White House and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) asked Congress to fund a $1.9 billion Zika response plan. But instead of taking action and providing the funding, the extreme right-wing Republican leadership in Congress continues to play politics with the health of women and children.

    When Congress comes back from recess on September 6, McConnell and Ryan need to get the message loud and clear that it’s time to take Zika seriously.

    Tell Republican congressional leaders: Stop playing games with the health of women and children, and do what’s required to fight the Zika virus. Click here to sign the petition.

    You’d think that Republicans, who claim to stand for “family values,” would want to move quickly to stop this outbreak in its track. But Republicans are clearly more interested in scoring political points with their base. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed a $1.1 billion dollar package, which not only doubled-down on his party’s anti-woman agenda by including contraception restrictions and blocking Planned Parenthood funding, but also promoted Republican efforts to ease pesticide restrictions and undermine clean water rules.5 Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s Zika response was even weaker, with only $622 million allocated to fight the virus.

    By failing to pass real legislation to address this crisis, congressional Republicans are opening a new front in their war on women. They have already been waging a relentless campaign to deny women access to reproductive health care across the country — from trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act and its contraceptive mandate, to undermining sex education, to restricting abortion access. In the face of Zika, it’s essential that all women have access to up-to-date information, affordable birth control, and abortions, but after years of anti-woman attacks at the state and national level, those services are almost impossible to access, especially for many women of color, women in rural areas, and women living in poverty. It’s horrifying to imagine that the states with the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. are going to be the ones who first have to grapple with the Zika virus.6

    Tell Republican congressional leaders: Stop playing games with the health of women and children, and do what’s required to fight the Zika virus. Click here to sign the petition.

    Beyond the damage already done by their anti-woman policies, Republicans are actively promoting a Zika response that restricts access to contraception and abortion. And their inaction is leaving low-income women to fend for themselves. Because of Zika’s presence in Miami Beach, health officials are advising pregnant women to avoid that tourist area, and to consider staying out of Miami-Dade County completely. While that may be an option for pregnant tourists, or residents of Miami-Dade who have the financial privilege to move for the duration of their pregnancies, it’s a cruel warning for the majority of women who live or work in Miami-Dade. Republicans’ refusal to do what’s necessary to stand up for the women, children and families who will be impacted by Zika is craven, dangerous and inappropriate. It’s time for them to act.

    Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: Stop playing games with the health of women and children. Do what’s required to fight the Zika virus. Click the link below to sign the petition:

    http://act.credoaction.com/sign/Zika_Response_dems/

    Thanks for taking action today,

    Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

    Add your name:
    Sign the petition ►

    References:

    Christine Grimaldi, “Zika Response ‘Sits Squarely With Congress’ After Administration’s Last-Ditch Effort,” Rewire, August 12, 2016.
    “Outcomes of Pregnancies with Laboratory Evidence of Possible Zika Virus Infection in the United States, 2016,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Amrith Ramkumar, “Zika May Cause Brain Damage in Adults, Too,” August 19, 2016.
    David Greene, “Health Official Warns Zika Could Spread Across U.S. Gulf Coast,” NPR, August 22, 2016.
    David Herszenhorn, “Zika Bill Is Blocked by Senate Democrats Upset Over Provisions,” June 28, 2016.
    Alex Thompson, “Zika is about to hit states with the most restrictive abortion laws in the US, August 9, 2016.

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