U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Bipartisan Vote to Advance Emergency Funding to Combat Zika Virus

WASHINGTON, D.C.Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement on the Senate vote to advance funding to combat the Zika virus. The bipartisan measure that advanced in the Senate today, supported by Senator Baldwin, would authorize $1.1 billion to fight the spread of the Zika virus, as well as raise awareness, expand access to family planning services, and accelerate development of a vaccine. 

More than 1,200 Americans have been infected with the Zika virus, including over 100 pregnant women, in 40 states, Washington, D.C., and 3 U.S. Territories.  On April 13, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the Zika virus does, in fact, cause microcephaly and other birth defects. 

“The Zika virus has been linked to many health problems, but most notably a terrible birth defect,” said Senator Baldwin. “Congress has a responsibility to act on the public health crisis posed by Zika. Today’s vote in the Senate is a critical step forward in our fight to prevent, detect, and respond to this serious and dangerous threat.”

The bipartisan measure, introduced by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) would authorize $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus, providing resources to the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, and global health programs, while also ensuring that funding allocated to fight Ebola remains in place.