House Republicans Are Happy To Dither As Zika Threat Looms
Public health officials are growing more and more concerned about the Zika virus as its true impact in South and Central America becomes clear. In January, the World Health Organization said Zika could be on the verge of spreading throughout the Americas. Health organizations in the U.S. are upping their efforts to develop a vaccine and eradicate the virus, and the White House has asked that money be appropriated to help make this happen. But as certain as death and taxes, Republicans in the House of Representatives have emerged to slow this process to a crawl. GOP lawmakers have met these calls to action with indifference masquerading as fiscal responsibility. Congressional action on the issue has stalled, and the only alternative for those who want to fight a Zika outbreak is to subtract funding from other pressing priorities. In one sense, this isn't surprising. For years, House Republicans have made a habit of bumbling from one crisis to the next without a plan (unless you count "shut down the government" as a plan, and you shouldn't). But the response to the Zika virus seems deeply strange when you think about the Ebola outbreak of 2014, when Washington lawmakers fell all over themselves to take action. Don’t get me wrong: It’s good that Zika hasn’t touched off the kind of wild-eyed fearmongering that we saw with Ebola. But some officials have gone way too far to the other extreme, with House Republicans essentially shrugging off an issue they...
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