Tension hung in the air as Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, the assistant administrator for global health at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), quickly lowered his mouth to the microphone before him so he could answer Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. “We don’t do abortions,” Pablos-Mendez said. “We are so careful with this. We monitor this very carefully everywhere we do work.”Smith, heading a U.S. House of Representatives hearing Feb. 10 on the continuing outbreak of the Zika virus, had just asked both Pablos-Mendez and another witness, Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to verify that $1.8 billion requested by President Barack Obama to combat the virus at home and abroad would not promote or fund abortion. Both quickly assured him it would not. Nonetheless, a House panel rejected Obama’s request for the money, citing funds still left from the fight against Ebola.