Encouraging Public-Private Partnerships To Combat Zika

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 11, 2016


On Wednesday, July 13, the State Department will host a series of working discussions to encourage private-public partnerships to combat the Zika virus. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor and Deputy Assistant to the President at the National Security Council staff, Amy Pope will kick off the event that will bring together more than 100 participants from the private sector and government. The gathering will take place in the Marshall Center at the U.S. Department of State from 9:00 am-1:00 pm. The opening remarks and plenary are from 9:00 am – 10: 00 am and are open to media.

In the last six months, the Zika virus has emerged as a top public health threat facing the international community. We know that it is primarily a risk for pregnant women and their babies because Zika can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. The complexity of the threat of this virus is an enormous challenge for the international community. Mounting a robust and comprehensive response to the outbreak requires our combined knowledge, capabilities, and resources.

This Public-Private sector discussion will look at areas of possible cooperation including how to raise awareness, how to speed up vaccine development and testing, how to control mosquitos, and how to fund new research. We will share lessons learned from past health emergencies and highlight best practices in current private-public partnerships in fighting Zika.

The event is being organized by the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships and the Bureau of Oceans & International Environmental & Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

The event is open to the press. Pre-set time for cameras is 8:15 a.m. from the 21st Street entrance. Final access time for writers and stills is 8:45a.m. from the 21st Street entrance.

Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued photo media credential (e.g., Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), or (2) an official photo identification card issued by their news organization, or (3) a letter from their employer on official letterhead verifying their current employment as a journalist. Additionally, they must present an official government photo identification card (i.e., U.S. driver's license or passport).

To register, please contact partnerships@state.gov and follow @GPatState and @StateDeptOES on Twitter for updates.