White House Spokesman Blasts Republicans Over Meager Zika Bill

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WASHINGTON – (Newsblaze) – The White House on Wednesday blasted congressional Republicans for their work on a $1.9 Billion aid package to fight the spread of the Zika virus using weather imagery. Josh Earnest described the Zika bill as a “meager accomplishment.”

“The passage of that bill that you described is positive but a rather meager accomplishment. We were talking about earlier, in some ways it’s akin to passing out umbrellas in the advance of a potential hurricane. So an umbrella might come in handy, but it’s going to be insufficient to ensure that communities all across the country are protected from a potentially significant impact,” stated White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Josh Earnest blasts Republicans over meager accomplishment on Zika bill.
Josh Earnest blasts Republicans over meager accomplishment on Zika bill.

The White House repeated the umbrella metaphor at least three times in exchanges with reporters to drive home their view that the bill would not provide sufficient testing and proper analytics to figure out how the disease was spreading.

“[It’s] not going to do anything to help local communities across the country that carry this virus – or fight the mosquitoes that carry this virus. It’s not going to expand access to diagnostics that would allow people to more easily get tested and get a prompt result from that test about whether or not they have the Zika virus,” Earnest remarked.

The Zika funding bill comes in the wake of government Health agencies shifting appropriations from other diseases to fight the mosquito-borne virus that causes birth defects in pregnant women. Wednesday’s action comes after Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control who spoke at the White House on Monday, said the spread of the disease was “scarier than we thought.”

“Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we [first] thought. While we don’t see widespread transmission, we need the states to be ready for that,” noted Dr. Schuchat.

The White House also noted that despite their misgivings with the work that Republican Lawmakers did on the bill, the President would sign the bill.

Randy Foreman is the NewsBlaze White House Correspondent, reporting from inside and outside The White House and around the beltway in Washington, D.C.