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Zika funding blocked in D.C.

WASHINGTON – Funding for Zika Virus research and relief was blocked by Senate Democrats, said Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss) Tuesday.

The proposed funding was to address the Zika health crisis and support America’s veterans and vital military construction projects.

“Everyone agrees that combating the Zika virus is a public health priority,” Wicker said. “It is disappointing that Senate Democrats are letting politics get in the way of ensuring the safety and well-being of all Americans threatened by this disease. They have also halted increased funding for our veterans. I urge Democrats to reconsider their position and stop standing in the way of these important priorities.”

Last month, every Senate Democrat joined Republicans in supporting a bipartisan amendment authored by Senators Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., to provide $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus.The conference report, which includes the agreed-upon $1.1 billion for fighting Zika, would also fund military construction and programs for veterans. This was included in appropriations legislation that passed the Senate last month by a vote of 89-8.

In Mississippi, three cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed – each one travel-related. Health officials have reported that the virus can be transmitted through the Aedes albopictus mosquito, which can be found in many parts of the state.

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