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White House says magnitude of Zika challenge means new funding needed

The White House said on Monday that it will ask the U.S. Congress for permission to redirect some money set aside for Ebola-related projects for its response to the Zika virus, but said it would primarily need new funding to address the outbreak. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for more than $1.8 billion to fight Zika, but several top Republican lawmakers have said the administration should instead draw from funds not yet used for public health projects aimed at the Ebola virus. “The magnitude of the Zika outbreak primarily requires new resources to ensure it is adequately addressed,” White House budget director Shaun Donovan said in a letter to Representative Hal Rogers, the top Republican appropriator in the House of Representatives.

Obama declares emergency over foul water in Michigan

US President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Michigan on Saturday, freeing up federal aid to help an area affected by contaminated water, the White House said. Authorities in the state have been dealing with a major health crisis over lead-contaminated water that arose from cost-cutting measures implemented in the city of Flint, home to some 100,000 people. On Thursday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder submitted a request to the president to call a state of emergency.

Obama prods world on climate change, faces pushback at home

PARIS (AP) — Facing pushback at home, President Barack Obama said Sunday that American leadership was helping make gains in the global fight against climate change as he tried to reassure world leaders assembling for a historic conference in Paris that the U.S. can deliver on its own commitments.

U.S. FDA commissioner to stand down after six years: sources

By Toni Clarke WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who for almost six years has overseen public health initiatives ranging from tobacco control and food safety to personalized medicine, disease control and drug approvals, is stepping down, according to a person briefed on the matter. The White House is expected to announce Hamburg's resignation later on Friday, the person said. FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Yao declined to comment. Hamburg, 59, is one of the longest-serving FDA commissioners in the modern era.