WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Governor Rick Scott expressed his frustration with Congressional inaction on funding to combat the Zika virus, which has now infected 790 known people in Florida, 70 of which are mosquito-borne in our state.

Governor Rick Scott said, “The Zika virus is now mosquito-borne in our state. Time is up for politics and political debates about a major federal effort to stop this disease. I have allocated more than $26 million from the state to combat Zika, but we need federal action now.

“Our federal government has managed to get its hands into way too many things.  Over the past eight years they have managed to grow our national debt from $10 trillion to nearly $20 trillion. And yet, they can’t agree on spending money to stomp out a serious disease?  It’s unacceptable. It’s exactly why the entire country is fed up with Washington and the federal government.  This is not a partisan issue.  Mosquitoes don’t care about party affiliation.  Zika is non-partisan.

“I first came to DC and asked Congress to take action on Zika funding in May.  And, our Congressional Delegation has been fighting hard for help from the Federal government.  But, Congress decided to go on recess instead. Since that time, we have identified 70 cases of locally acquired Zika from mosquitos in four Florida counties.  The Zika virus demands immediate federal action and I am here to tell members that something needs to get done this week.

“I was very disappointed by last week’s vote in the U.S. Senate and I don’t know how any member from the Florida delegation could have voted against a bill to fund Zika like Senator Nelson did.  He turned his back on $1.1 billion to fight Zika because of politics.”

GOV. SCOTT ASKS CONGRESS TO COME TO MIAMI
Governor Scott also asked Congress to hold a field hearing on Zika preparedness and prevention in Miami by October 1st, before the end of hurricane season. Governor Scott initially asked members to hold this meeting in Miami by the start of hurricane season when he was in Washington in May.

Governor Scott continued, “I am pleased that Senator Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that the Senate would move forward this week on a Continuing Resolution that would include money to fight Zika in Florida.  I know Senator Rubio supports this and has been fighting for many months for Zika funding. Something has to get done this week and that is why I am very supportive of the funding in this resolution. Again, this is urgent and we need money for research, a vaccine and prevention now.  Congress and the President cannot play politics. Zika is a national issue.  While Florida is the only state right now with locally transmitted Zika, there will be more.  The clock is ticking and we must get something done now to protect pregnant women and their growing babies who are at most risk with this virus.

“I know many members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation are fighting for Zika funding.  During my meetings, I am also asking members to hold a field hearing on Zika preparedness and prevention in Miami by October 1st, before the end of hurricane season.  I initially asked members to hold this meeting in Miami by the start of hurricane season, and now that we have had the first hurricane hit our state in over a decade, it is even more important that this happens.  Dumping standing water is a major factor in our fight against Zika, and members need to come to Florida during our rainy season when mosquitoes are most prevalent to hear from those who are on the frontlines of battling this virus.”

OUTSTANDING REQUESTS TO OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
Governor Scott also has the following outstanding requests to the Obama Administration:

  • An additional 10,000 Zika prevention kits.  (Governor Scott requested on Aug. 19th)
  • A detailed plan from the Obama Administration on how they would like Florida to work with FEMA now that Zika has become mosquito-borne. (Initially requested on June 1st – requested again Aug. 19th)

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