President Obama told Congress not to leave town before passing a Zika funding bill amid new reports that 279 pregnant women from the United States and its territories have shown signs of infection from the Zika virus.
“Here’s the upshot: This is something that is solvable. This is not something we need to panic about. But this is something we have to take seriously,” Obama said. “Congress needs to get me a bill. They should not be going off on recess before this is done.”
Obama spoke after meeting with his top public safety advisers in the Oval Office Friday. He said scientists are still learning about the scope and effects of the virus, which can cause severe birth defects and miscarriages in pregnant women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 157 pregnant women in the continental United States — and 122 in its territories — have tested positive for the virus.