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Federal Funding Could Help Zika Preparedness

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

From Texas Standard:

Federal funding will be an integral part of controlling Zika in Texas. But promising funding may be easier said than done. Congress left Washington last month for a seven-week recess without passing legislation that would have provided additional funding to combat the virus. Senate Democrats now lead a growing chorus who say Congress should cancel the recess to pass Zika legislation.

Jamie Lovegrove, the Washington correspondent for the Dallas Morning News, tells the Standard that now Texas Republicans are also asking the Obama administration to step up their efforts. They're requesting more transparency about the administration's use of the $589 million that it re-purposed from other areas of the budget in April.


"About $510 million of those funds were pulled from resources previously allocated to combat Ebola. But the Texans point to recent reports that $385 million of that money remains unspent," Lovegrove reported in an Aug. 5 article.

What you'll hear in this segment:

– Why there's a funding gridlock for Zika prevention

– Will Congress cancel the recess to take up the funding legislation?

– Where the funding would come from

– Is there a backup plan for funding control of other diseases, like Ebola?

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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