The Trump administration is pushing to roll back federal regulations that protect consumers against the spread of Zika virus, a move that would be the latest blow to the mosquito-borne virus, which has already killed more than 3,300 people and infected more than 16,000 others.
The move comes at a time when states and localities across the country are struggling to contain the virus, with some communities seeing an increase in cases and fatalities.
The administration’s new proposal, to be voted on in a Senate hearing on Thursday, would undo the 2015 guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that requires health care providers to monitor patients and their partners and use a tool called “Prevent, Respond to, and Eradicate Zika Virus Transmission.”
The rule was designed to reduce the risk of Zika transmission through education, research, and community engagement.
But the Trump administration has also proposed repealing the rule.
“While the rule is not perfect, it is the first step in ensuring that every American has access to safe, effective, affordable health care,” said Michael Antony, deputy director of the CDC.
“This is not just about public health, this is about protecting American lives, and I am confident that Congress will take action to protect Americans from the Zika virus.
The Trump plan would undo an Obama-era rule that required health care institutions to inform patients and other visitors of the Zika transmission risk. “
I think it is really important that people understand that it is important that we work closely with Congress to come up with a solution to this, and we will be ready to pass that solution.”
The Trump plan would undo an Obama-era rule that required health care institutions to inform patients and other visitors of the Zika transmission risk.
That rule, which was finalized in February and implemented last July, required health professionals to report any patient exhibiting signs of infection to a public health officer and notify local health departments.
The CDC issued guidance to health care facilities in October 2017, stating that “in most instances” they could not share a patient’s case status with a public entity.
However, some public entities had already reported cases to health authorities, such as health care workers, who could then notify the local health department and the CDC, according to the CDC’s own guidelines.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has since rolled back that guidance.
In February, the Centers and CMS issued an emergency advisory that warned that Zika could be transmitted through direct contact with infected blood, urine, saliva, feces, or vaginal swabs.
In the case of women who have sex with men, there is a risk that they could transmit Zika if they have unprotected sex.
This new proposal is intended to go even further and target specific health care centers.
“There is no safe way to transmit Zika virus,” said CDC Deputy Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.
“If you can’t get to a clinic, if you can no longer get to your doctor, you can still spread the virus to someone else.
That is a very serious concern.
We can’t allow people to go into hospitals and spread the Zika to their family members.”
The new rule would not only impact health care services but also those in the private sector.
The proposal would prohibit the CDC from issuing new or expanded guidelines for the use of any service that provides “travel information or information regarding the presence of Zika,” including travel advisories, the use or transmission of mosquito repellent, and the transmission of mosquitoes, the CDC said.
The proposed rule would also require that health care plans offering coverage for the Zika vaccine or other products contain a full list of all the tested and approved vaccines for Zika virus and for any other approved vaccines.
“These new restrictions are necessary to ensure that the public health community has adequate information to make informed decisions about the safety and effectiveness of any new vaccines, as well as to provide information to insurers and health care professionals on the effectiveness of other treatments and preventive measures,” Frieden said.
“At the same time, we cannot allow our ability to do preventive and public health work to be undermined by political considerations.”
The CDC did not respond to a request for comment on the proposal.
The White House’s proposal is being opposed by the American Medical Association, which opposes a full rollback of the rule because it would force health care practitioners to divulge their patients’ medical histories and intimate details.
“In light of the devastating impact the Zika pandemic is having on our health care system and the many lives it is destroying, the American Hospital Association and other stakeholders are concerned that a complete rewrite of the rules that would make the Zika guidance obsolete will put the public at risk,” the AMA wrote in a statement on Thursday.
The American Medical Students Association, the largest group of doctors, said it supports the move but also said the new guidance is not enough to ensure the safety of healthcare workers.
“The AMA and the American College of Surgeons oppose efforts to change the guidance,” the association said.
A group of more than 500 physicians sent a