US government too slow to act on Zika prevention, treatment

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Abandoning earlier caution about the relationship between the Zika virus and various serious possible sequelae, including microcephaly (a devastating condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and brains), CDC scientists have confirmed cause and effect.

The Obama administration sought $1.9 billion for enhanced detection, prevention and treatment efforts, but the bill passed by Congress provided only incentives to companies developing vaccines or drugs for Zika infections. The bipartisan legislation adds Zika to a list of diseases that qualify for the valuable “priority review voucher” from the FDA, which can be used by companies that develop a Zika vaccine or drug to accelerate the approval of another pharmaceutical at a future time.

Announcing that the president would sign the bill, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was snide: “The passage of that bill is positive, but a rather meager accomplishment,” calling it “two months late and $1.9 billion short” of what’s needed to stop the spread of the virus. “In some ways, it’s akin to passing out umbrellas in advance of a hurricane,” he added, illustrating yet again that the administration’s strategy for dealing with an uncooperative Congress appears to be sarcasm and confrontation.

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Read full, original post: Deadly Dysfunction: Bureaucratic Snafus Delay A Novel Approach To Zika

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