The Wall Street Journal: Congress likely to adjourn for summer without anti-Zika funding deal

WASHINGTON — Negotiations over legislation for funding to combat the Zika virus hit a new impasse Tuesday, heightening the chances that Congress will leave Washington for the summer without acting on a measure to stem the spread of the mosquito-borne illness.

The stalemate hardened Tuesday when Senate Republicans rejected a new Democratic proposal aimed at finding a middle ground in the battle over Zika funding.

Read: Zika death in Utah may be first in continental U.S.

Congress is expected to adjourn Friday for a seven-week recess through Labor Day and there was little evidence Tuesday that any bipartisan agreement would arrive before week’s end.

If Congress is unable to approve any new Zika funding, the administration’s efforts to stop the virus will be interrupted.

A second phase of clinical trials for a Zika vaccine would need to be put on hold later this year, health officials say. The National Institutes of Health wouldn’t be able to sustain a project that follows 10,000 pregnant women during their pregnancies and directly after, officials said. It would also limit the ability of emergency labs run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to handle a surge in capacity, they said.

As of July 7, no cases of locally transmitted, mosquito-borne Zika have been reported in the continental U.S., according to the CDC. As of July 6, a total of 1,132 cases of travel-associated Zika have been reported in the U.S. There were also 2,534 cases reported in the U.S. territories.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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