Mosquito-borne diseases present a problem that can't be solved by building a wall or banning a certain group of people from entering your country. We must rely on science to help us develop remedies or vaccines if we are unable to eradicate the disease-carrier mosquitoes, or find a cure for that disease. It requires a collaborative effort of the people, their government and the scientific community to solve potentially fatal problems that cost human lives.
Diseases are not discerning when it comes to Democrats or Republicans, so why is one political party so anti-science when it is matter of life and death? It seems really depressing that more than half of our Legislative Branch, the branch that controls funding for fighting diseases like the Zika Virus, are suspicious and paranoid because cures can be costly and addressing other people's problems are inconvenient until those problems show up at their doorstep.
Marco Rubio is a perfect example of this. While busy campaigning against those delightful GOP candidates in the primaries, Zika was making its way into his state. Naturally, who was the first Republican to agree with President Obama's proposal to combat Zika? You guessed it, Marco Rubio saw that these scientists might have been on to something. He even agreed with Elizabeth Warren and Obama down to the exact amount recommended to fight this unknown epidemic. Remember how quickly the Republicans came up with $5 billion to combat Ebola? Well, they've forgotten all about that.
As far as the Zika Virus is concerned, we've known it would arrive in the U.S. since the outbreak in the American Continents began in 2015. But when the relatively innocuous fever and rash-causing virus was linked to infants born with microcephaly, people started paying closer attention.
Epidemiologists knew the disease would spread rapidly and President Obama, who respects the scientists in the NIH, tried his best to fund the needed research and development for a cure or vaccine. He wrote to Speaker Ryan on February 22, 2016
Dear Mr. Speaker:
Today, I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed FY 2016 emergency supplemental appropriations request of approximately $1.9 billion to respond to the Zika virus both domestically and internationally.
Two months pass and Congress is dragging its feet because, well, we can't give the W.H. a blank check for some science-type stuff. This is how it stood at the end of April of this year:
But Republicans are standing firm, arguing that the issue can be dealt with in next year’s spending process and, as Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) put it, would give a “blank check” to the White House to use funds meant for Zika for other priorities.
"Other priorities" means funding for combating climate change, especially in poorer countries who are coping with modernizing without polluting excessively. But if you pretend that climate change is not real, then you don't have to fund it. The surplus allocated to handle the overblown Ebola 'threat' was offered, but Congress can't agree on how to budget the money.
The administration has already transferred almost $600 million of unused Ebola funds and other money to fight Zika in the near term, but it says more is urgently needed to control the mosquitoes that spread the virus, manufacture vaccines once they are developed, and produce more accurate testing for the virus.
Two more months of GOP Congressional feet-dragging, and suddenly it's just before the July 4th recess. That's when the GOP blocked funding Zika, on the cusp of the hottest, most mosquito-ridden part of the summer, because of the Hastert rule.
Reid noted that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had recently blasted Democrats for blocking a bill to fight the Zika outbreak because it restricted Planned Parenthood from providing contraception and other Zika-fighting services to at-risk women.
Isn't that so benevolent of Marco Rubio's anti-science party, hard at work, protecting the rights of the unborn to live a life of costly pain and suffering. Rubio claims it's President Obama's fault as if he's dragging his feet. He knows exactly whose fault it is, but, he must lie, because that's a prerequisite for having that (R) next to your name.
The National Memo reported Wednesday that:
Federal officials took nearly $600 million that had been aimed at fighting Ebola and shifted it to battle Zika instead when Congress first balked at approving $1.9 billion in funding that the administration had requested. The White House continued to press for the larger amount, but Congress failed to agree and then left for a seven-week summer recess.
Rubio charged the White House with holding back and said that approximately $300 million could be made available to help southern Florida cope with the first locally transmitted Zika outbreak in the continental United States.
Just so Rubio is clear, the problem is, his dysfunctional mess of a political party is making sure that money doesn't go anywhere, as long as they can exploit this crisis to make the president look like the bad guy. Isn't that the only purpose of Republicans? Meanwhile they create distractions with stories that leave out most of the relevant details regarding the money for prisoner exchange that was part of the Iran Deal and not paying a ransom.
It's doubtful anyone in the Republican party truly cares about those afflicted, because it's no one in their district, yet. Until someone they are close to or someone they deem important is impacted, they won't learn anything about Zika or the resourceful mosquito, aedes aegypti that carries the virus. They have no idea that this particular female mosquito is considered a very resourceful breeder, and eradicating that particular species is a challenge that has been exacerbated by that fictional man-made climate-change. They care about the here and now. They care about what's in it for them. They hate science, until they need it.
Science's contribution to humanity is important. Republican morons who don't care about human life are unimportant. Let's vote out lying Republicans like Rubio and his late-to-the-party decision to run for a second term as Senator, after his feefees were hurt by Drumpenfuhrer. He believes in medical science but not climate change, which will affect his state first. The irony continues with this GOP.