Rep. Andy Harris: Democrats block crucial Zika funding

This isn’t a game.

This is the health of the American people – not a bargaining chip to be used to score political points.

We’re now firmly into the summer months, the months of barbeques, beach trips, and family vacations. These also happen to be the months during which there is the greatest risk for mosquito exposure.

Now is not the time for Democrats to block funding to fight the Zika virus — funding that they previously voted in favor of.

In fact, it’s irresponsible.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), in an op-ed published today on The Hill’s Congress Blog, presses the Democrats on their opposition to their very own priority. A medical professional himself, Rep. Harris emphasizes that Republicans have led on finding responsible solutions to this public health threat and that we will continue to fight for funding to help contain Zika, despite Democratic obstruction.

Here are highlights from Rep. Harris’ op-ed:

On Protecting Americans:

This summer as temperatures rise and the Olympics approach, many Americans are increasingly concerned about the threat posed by the Zika virus, a mosquito born virus.

We have to do the best we can to prevent the spread of this virus and protect the next generation. But we’re also looking beyond this latest crisis to strengthen our underlying biodefense infrastructure so we can respond rapidly and effectively to both manmade and natural emerging biological threats in the future.

On the Democrats Negligence:

The bipartisan Zika funding bill that Senate Democrats struck down this week would have zeroed in on the critical elements of Zika prevention by both supporting efforts to disrupt the mosquitoes that carry this virus and by doubling down on vaccine research, development, and production. 

While Democrats in Congress continue to play politics with the health of our women and children, Republicans are offering real, targeted solutions to fighting the Zika virus.

View the full op-ed from Rep. Harris here.