In a letter to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Burwell said the fight against Zika, which is frequently spread by mosquitoes, has taken on new urgency in light of the rising number of Zika cases in Florida. As of Thursday, she said there have been more than 7,300 cases of Zika, 972 pregnant women with Zika and 15 babies born with Zika-related birth defects in the United States.
"The failure to pass a Zika emergency supplemental has forced the Administration to choose between delaying critical vaccine development and raiding other worthy government programs to temporarily avoid these delays," Burwell said in the letter.
Burwell intends to move $34 million to the National Institutes of Health and $47 million to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The funding will allow continued research into a vaccine until the end of the fiscal year but isn't enough to pay for planned testing and research into a vaccine.
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