White House slams Zika funding bill as inadequate

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, Brazil, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Thursday panned new Republican legislation to put $1.1 billion toward fighting the Zika virus, a plan that was much less than the $1.9 billion requested by President Barack Obama.

“This plan from Congressional Republicans is four months late and nearly a billion dollars short of what our public health experts have said is necessary to do everything possible to fight the Zika virus and steals funding from other health priorities,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler