Emma Vermont

Containing Zika

Zika is threatening American lives, what will you do?

September 29, 2016

Dear Future President of the United States,

I believe in a world where getting bitten by a mosquito is just an annoying itch, not a threat to the child you’re going to raise. I believe in a world where our president does everything they can to prevent a virus that threatens our youngest citizens from spreading across the country.

Transmitted through the Aedes mosquito, the Zika virus, first seen in monkeys in 1947, is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Microcephaly causes babies to be born with much smaller heads and brains than normal. This causes developmental issues, intellectual disabilities, problems with balance, hearing loss, vision problems, and even seizures. Guillain Barré syndrome (Pronounced GHEE-yan bah-ray sin-drome) causes nerves to function improperly. This causes major defects in coordination. For example, someone with GBS would struggle to throw a ball, hold a pencil, or sometimes breathe well. Both of these syndromes make it really difficult to live a normal life, as an active member of society. It should be the goal of our president to help ensure as many active and healthy members of society as possible.

In February, President Obama proposed a financial plan to provide emergency resources such as mosquito control, fast-tracking diagnostics tests and vaccines, tracking the spread, and monitoring women and babies that have contracted the virus. The Republicans in congress voted this down. So the Obama administration was forced to use money needed for Ebola, Cancer, and other diseases. Similar bills were debated in June and July, and neither of them passed. Last Tuesday, Democrats shut down a bill because they claimed that the Republicans Sabotaged the legislations with political provisions, irrelevant to Zika. This is the fourth time a research-funding bill has been denied. Now, congress is on a 7-week recess. Already, 14 people in MIami have tested positive for Zika. We need to stop Zika before it’s too late, and we can’t do that without funding and research. When you become president, you must bring both sides together to stop this virus in it’s tracks. If you can convince the democrats and the republicans to pass a financial plan, you can give experts the power to save hundreds of children from living a life of hardship.

As president, you must be clear-headed, smart, and most of all, kind. Any kind person would do whatever they could to help those in need. You, the president, have the most power to help. Help our smallest citizens. Convince the House and Senate to pass this bill to win the fight against Zika.

Thank you,

Emma Destito