During Ways & Means Hearing, Curbelo Urges HHS To Maintain Funding Zika Prevention Programs

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Washington, D.C., June 9, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

During a Ways and Means Committee hearing yesterday, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) received confirmation from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price that the National Institutes of Health programs focused on Zika prevention efforts and the immunization vaccine would continue.

Price committed these programs, made possible by the Zika funding that Curbelo supported and was passed by Congress last year, would continue for the foreseeable future. Background and a timeline of Curbelo’s Zika-funding efforts leading up to and during last year’s crisis is available here.

A partial transcript of the exchange can be found below. A video of the full exchange is available here.

 

U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo
Washington, D.C.
June 8, 2017
https://youtu.be/GB4SbdcphvI

Representative Carlos Curbelo: “Mr. Secretary, I wanted to bring up the National Institutes of Health. As you know, South Florida was hit hard last year by the Zika crisis. Obviously it was a public health threat, but it was also an economic threat to our community. Can you commit to supporting NIH and all of their efforts and research, in vaccine development, to make sure that if the threat of Zika returns, which we are nearing the season, that our government is prepared to support communities, like South Florida and others, that are exposed to this threat?”

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price: “Because of the resources that Congress has provided, significant resources have gone into the discovery and production of a vaccine for Zika. We’re in phase 2B trials as you likely know. Very exciting time and we’re very hopeful that we’ll be able to bring that online rapidly.”

Curbelo: “So you can commit that all of those programs, all of that work that is being done is going to continue for the foreseeable future?”

Price: “Absolutely. It’s a priority of the Department, of the NIH and of the Administration.”

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