Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin is holding a news conference at the National Institutes of Health to discuss the need for federal funding to continue research on Zika virus treatment and vaccine development.
Cardin has scheduled the news conference for Friday after he takes a laboratory tour and gets and update from NIH officials on the status of their work.
Cardin notes that more than 16,800 Zika cases already have been documented in the United States.
The Maryland Democrat says dealing with the epidemic is a national emergency.
He says researchers "shouldn't be looking over their shoulders'' wondering if the federal government is going to be a strong partner in their efforts to make breakthroughs in developing treatments and vaccines.