Seven Months into Zika Crisis, We Must Work Together To Fund Response

There are three actions our country must undertake to beat back Zika, and time is not on our side. This is the message from our President and CEO Judith Monroe, M.D., in a new op-ed posted today at 

Judy is a mom, a physician and a former state and federal health official. She knows we have the power to prevent the devastating birth defects caused by Zika. In the op-ed, Judy emphasizes three actions our country must take: 

  • She urges our nation’s leaders to reconvene Congress and work together across the aisle to push through a funding package compromise sufficient to address the outbreak.
  • She urges the private sector to step forward with additional support. “We are most effective as a society,” according to Judy, “when we can bring together both the public and private sectors to address large challenges.” 
  • Finally, Judy believes it is time for our country to establish an ongoing public health disaster rapid response fund, so that we are ready to protect the public’s health from global and domestic threats. 

Based on the latest figures, there are more than 970 pregnant women in the United States and our territories with laboratory evidence of Zika—and that number is likely low. Some of these women are facing agonizing decisions as ultrasound imaging demonstrates abnormalities, according to Judy. 

Our public health officials at the national, state and local levels know how to fight Zika and prevent birth defects, Judy states. Now, let’s give them the tools they need to get the job done—including the funding required to end this outbreak.  

At the CDC Foundation, we are extremely grateful to our donors who have stepped forward to help prevent Zika-related birth defects—but more support is crucial. We hope others will hear this call and join us to beat back Zika.


Pierce Nelson
Pierce Nelson is the chief communications officer for the CDC Foundation.