May 17, 2016

As Peak Mosquito Season Approaches, Hirono Advances Measure To Fund Fight Against Zika

Compromise Measure To Fund Research, Education, Vector Control

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono today voted in support of more than $1 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus. The Senate advanced a $1.1 billion bipartisan compromise amendment to the appropriations bill currently being debated on the Senate floor. While the funding is short of the Administration’s $1.9 billion emergency request, the compromise measure will lay a foundation to fight Zika without including cuts to other important public health initiatives as Republicans had proposed. 

“Over 500 Americans have contracted the Zika virus while travelling this year, and with the summer months almost upon us, it is only a matter of time before we see a locally-acquired case,” said Senator Hirono. “While I am a co-sponsor of legislation to fund the President’s full emergency request, the compromise measure advanced today is a good first step to provide states and counties in Hawaii with the vector control, research, and education resources needed to fight Zika. We must remain vigilant and keep ahead of Zika, which has the potential to be a major public health crisis.”

Earlier today, Senator Hirono took to the Senate floor to highlight steps Hawaii is taking to fight the Zika virus, including the work of Oahu company Hawaii Biotech in developing a Zika vaccine. Nine travel-acquired cases of Zika have been reported in Hawaii.

Hirono Zika Floor Speech

Click on the photo above to watch Senator Hirono’s full remarks