Durbin Meets with CDC Director to Discuss Urgent Need for Congress to Pass Zika Funding

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to discuss the agency’s efforts to combat the spread of the Zika virus and the immediate need for increased funding. Durbin expressed concern about how congressional Republicans’ refusal to pass a bipartisan emergency funding bill is hindering the CDC’s ability to respond to this public health threat. To date, 3,667 people in the United States, including 26 people in Illinois and 599 pregnant women, have been infected with the Zika virus.
“I commend Dr. Freiden for all of CDC’s efforts to prepare for and combat the Zika virus. But our public health agencies – including the CDC – need greater support,” said Durbin. “We are seeing greater numbers of Zika cases as the summer proceeds, and our disease experts are learning more every day about the impact of this virus. Congress must act immediately to protect pregnant women and babies from this devastating disease. I urge my Republican colleagues to put politics aside and get serious about passing bipartisan legislation this week to tackle this growing threat.”
Last week, after meeting with maternal fetal medicine, infectious disease, and public health specialists in Illinois, Senator Durbin once again called on Congress to pass a bipartisan emergency funding bill free of poison pill riders and protect American women and children from Zika.