Top Health Officials Press for $1.9 Billion Zika Virus Funding

CDC Deputy Director Anne Schuchat said the virus is "potentially catastrophic."
4:45 | 05/12/16

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Transcript for Top Health Officials Press for $1.9 Billion Zika Virus Funding
As of last week there were 11130 confirmed cases of the cica virus in the United States in its territories. Over 100 of them are pregnant women and one person has dot. Temperatures in the United States are already reaching levels where mosquitoes thrive with. The Olympics in Brazil are less than 100 days away we have already delayed for too long. Congress should have acted weeks ago on the president's request for one point nine billion dollars in emergency funding to respond to this public health emergency. And the bottom line is that the virus is spreading and it's spreading quickly and not only is it spreading but the Centers for Disease Control. Confirmed that the person he can read related deaths of seventy year old man who died of complications in Puerto Rico. I don't believe any one could deny that this is an emergency in the United States of America. And you have to wonder why congress is waiting until cica explodes before it really does something cica is an emergency. This is an unanticipated. Problem seek is the first mosquito borne virus. Two known to cause birth defects. It is the first mosquito borne virus that can be spread sexually. It is newly arrived in the Americas and we are literally learning more. Every day. It is potentially catastrophic. There are many things that we will not be able to do without supplemental resources. We know that the virus can cause a spectrum of conditions when in a woman is infected in pregnancy. But we don't know how frequently the bottom line is that nothing about cica is going to be easy. Or quick. We at the CDC in across our health and human services are working. Vigorously to do our best. But additional resources are urgently needed. This is a virus that was discovered decades ago but that has just emerged upon us and an outbreak form requiring a very rapid. Acceleration of efforts to understand it. As well as we understand other viruses such as HIV. And Ebola and in the short period of time. In which beat had to address this and I must mention. Doing it with money that we had to move from other areas in order to do this to understand what we call the path the Genesis of this extraordinary virus. Doctor shipman described the devastating effect on fetuses which is starting to understand now. How terribly new wrote Tropez is viruses and by neuro tropic. It means it has a very strong tendency. To attack and destroy. Neurological tissue and the vulnerable period of the time. When the fetus is developing it it's a bad idea to move money from one critical area to another just on its on its intuitively they had to do that you could just figure it out. But when you're dealing with. The money that we're talking about Ebola money there is a misperception. That Ebola is done Ebola is not done. For sure it's not done disabled images nicely take money from Ebola. And give it physique I think is really a bad idea that we're going to start trials. In September of 2016. And that is a phase one trial this is a vaccine. That we had developed that same type of vaccine for west Nile. We have a head start on it will start in 2016. Will take about four months for us to get safety data and image in this city. If it looks safe and it induces the kind of response that we believe it will induce will then go into phase two B trials starting in 2017. Depending upon the rate of infection. Will though likely at the end of one year namely at the end of 2017. If it in fact is effective. If so we may be able to have an emergency use of it if not we may be quiet more time when we get past. We don't really know what you gonna do with the money. That's what we're gonna do with the money. It's really not dramatic if there's going to be is eager virus outbreak it's just a matter of win the question for all of losses are we going to be prepared. This money is gonna help support locals as we prepare to protect people from Zeke a virus and mosquitoes are other. Similar threats to public health but just as importantly these funds will do or local authorities cannot do. As doctor party satellite manufactured accurate diagnosis testing for the virus or develop potential vaccines we need to get ahead. This is really important we need to get ahead. Of this threat just like we would with any of the danger to a homeland like ices or able playing catch up is not. Is not an acceptable strategy.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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