Tester Statement on Passage of Amendment Addressing the Zika Virus Crisis

(U.S. Senate)-Senator Jon Tester, today, issued the following statement after supporting a bipartisan $1.1 billion amendment to fight the spread of the Zika virus.

“I applaud the Senate for finally addressing this global health crisis, but unless Congress acts faster these critical resources won’t hit the ground until after mosquito season. This amendment was better than nothing but far from perfect; we cannot be messing around when it comes to the health of our families.”

There are over 500 cases of Zika in the United States and there is concern that the virus will spread broadly this summer. Montana has one reported case of the virus.

This amendment was attached to a Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill which will likely pass the Senate later today. The House passed a bill yesterday that allocates just over $600 million to fight Zika, an amount that health officials say is far from enough to prevent the spread of a disease that causes serious birth defects.

Senator Tester began his push to address the Zika outbreak back in February when he asked the President to begin coordinating a response plan.