WASHINGTON—US Senator Bill Cassidy, MD released the following statement following the advancement of an emergency spending package to combat the Zika virus:
“Four travel-related cases of Zika have been identified in Louisiana. Louisiana, being a Gulf State, is at high risk – we need to stop Zika in its tracks.”
Dr. Cassidy has consistently called on Congress to stop being reactionary and start being precautionary in dealing with public health threats. He detailed his Zika concerns in an opinion peice in The Hill, read excerpts below:
“This is part of a pattern that repeats every few years when an outbreak of disease occurs someplace in the world. As the media coverage increases, public panic grows and in response Congress scrambles to deal with the possible threat, appropriating billions of dollars in emergency funding…
“This is an inefficient and dangerous way to deal with public health threats…
“Zika is the latest ‘surprise’ we are scrambling to deal with. This is necessary because the data on Zika is so limited and we must take every precaution to ensure the safety of the American people. As a senator representing a Gulf State that is at a high risk for Zika outbreak, and as a doctor who has worked in public health for nearly 30 years, I am highly aware of the importance of our response. However, we can do better…”
Read the rest of the oped here.
There have been 503 travel-related cases, including four in Louisiana, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health experts say the Gulf Coast states are more at risk to a Zika outbreak because the aedes aegypti mosquito is prevalent during the summer months.