Congressman Gene Green Calls For Briefing from CDC Health Experts on Zika Virus
WASHINGTON—Following the World Health Organization’s declaration of the Zika virus—which is transmitted by mosquitos and may cause birth defects—as a public health emergency, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX-29) joined a bipartisan group of House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders in reaching out to U.S. government health experts seeking more information.
The leaders wrote letters requesting immediate briefings from Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Dr. Nicole Lurie, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Green said, “Houston is a gateway to Central and South America and because of this, we have a unique role and interest in confronting threats like the Zika virus. Ensuring that our region and nation are prepared for these major public health threats is a top priority of mine. This is one of the reasons I have long fought for new legislation and increased funding for an array of federal measures aimed at prevention and increased preparedness for serious communicable diseases. However, there is still more to be done. I will continue working with my colleagues in the House, and through our newly established Public Health Caucus, to bolster our federal preparedness so that we continue to lead the world in disease prevention and treatment.”
Congressman Green has been a long-time leader in Congress on disease prevention and readiness. As a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he has played a critical role in crafting some of the most important legislation on these topics in recent years, including: the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, which promotes federal readiness for an array of public health emergencies, and the Prevention and Public Health Fund within the Affordable Care Act, which strengthens our nation’s public health posture. He has also been a champion for increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).