Gov. David Ige joined U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono on Monday in urging the release of emergency federal funding that could bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hawaii to prevent a major Zika virus outbreak.
“We really need to let the public know this is not something we should be sticking our heads in the sand over,” Hirono, D-Hawaii, said at a news conference at Hawaii Biotech in Honolulu.
Hirono said Republican members of Congress have blocked President Barack Obama’s $1.9 billion emergency funding request for nearly three months.
The funding was expected to pay for education and outreach programs, improve the health care industry’s response to Zika, bolster vector control programs and support the work of companies like Hawaii Biotech, which is working to produce a Zika vaccine.
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