White House Wants $1.8B to Fight Zika

President Obama will ask Congress this week for roughly $1.8 billion to help fight the spread of the Zika virus. The White House has faced pressure from both parties to act strongly on the mosquito-borne virus, which is known for a birth defect called microcephaly, marked by an abnormally small head. “The good news is this is not like Ebola, people don’t die of Zika. A lot of people get it and don’t even know that they have it,” Obama said on CBS News on Monday, adding, “It is something we have to take seriously.” Reuters reports that most of the money would be spent on testing, research on a vaccine, surveillance, and response in affected areas. In the U.S., there have been 50 confirmed cases of Zika in people who have traveled to infected countries.