TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott sent the below letter to CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden requesting he meet with local leaders during his upcoming visit to Miami-Dade County to provide guidance on which practices are best for defeating Zika in the newest area of active transmission in the Little River community.

Please see the below excerpt from the letter:

Governor Scott said, “…I requested the CDC immediately provide guidance to the county when we announced this new zone on October 13th. We are still awaiting this guidance and I ask that you specifically address how the county should determine when and where to use aerial spraying. We quickly saw reductions of mosquitoes in Wynwood and in the first zone in Miami Beach following aerial spraying. However, we have not seen similar reductions in the extended Miami Beach zone where aerial spraying is not occurring. County officials also said on Friday that they will not use aerial spraying in Little River. It is crucial that every decision is based on what will best protect our residents and visitors and CDC guidance will make sure the county is fully informed before ruling out potential mosquito abatement techniques…”

 

 

FULL LETTER

October 24, 2016

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden
Director, CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329

Dear Dr. Frieden:

As the first and only state fighting local Zika cases from mosquito bites, Florida is the epicenter of the national Zika virus crisis. As you know, we currently have two areas with ongoing active Zika transmission in Miami-Dade County. I have visited both of these areas and spoken directly with many of the local leaders and community members who I hope you will be meeting with during your visit to Miami-Dade County tomorrow. I also visited the Wynwood area multiple times, including one visit with you, when there was still ongoing active transmission of Zika there. It is great news that the Wynwood zone was lifted last month because of aggressive mosquito control measures.

While you are in Miami-Dade County, I encourage you to take this opportunity to speak with local leaders and the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control District about which practices are best for defeating Zika in the Little River community. We know that every area is different and requires specialized practices for fighting the virus. That is why I requested the CDC immediately provide guidance to the county when we announced this new zone on October 13th. We are still awaiting this guidance and I ask that you specifically address how the county should determine when and where to use aerial spraying. We quickly saw reductions of mosquitoes in Wynwood and in the first zone in Miami Beach following aerial spraying. However, we have not seen similar reductions in the extended Miami Beach zone where aerial spraying is not occurring. County officials also said on Friday that they will not use aerial spraying in Little River. It is crucial that every decision is based on what will best protect our residents and visitors and CDC guidance will make sure the county is fully informed before ruling out potential mosquito abatement techniques.

The State of Florida still has multiple outstanding requests to the Obama Administration and the CDC for important Zika resources, many of which you can fulfill during your visit to Miami-Dade County. Every action we take and request we make to the federal government is to help protect pregnant women and their developing children, and I urge you to quickly provide the following:

  • The CDC to work directly with the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control District to identify best practices for defeating Zika in this new area because we know every area is different;
  • The CDC to match Florida’s $25 million investment to help develop a vaccine and other Zika research;
  • The CDC to work with Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami Beach to develop a plan on how to better control the mosquitoes that carry Zika;
  • The CDC to host a call with community leaders and clinicians in Miami Beach to answer questions and provide the latest information and guidance on Zika;
  • An additional 10,000 Zika prevention kits; and
  • A detailed plan from the Obama Administration on how they would like Florida to work with FEMA now that Zika has become mosquito-borne.

 

Our state has authorized more than $61 million in state funds to combat Zika and more than $12 million of this funding has gone directly to Miami-Dade County, the only area with active ongoing Zika transmission in the continental U.S. It has been more than three weeks since federal funding to fight Zika was approved by Congress and signed by President Obama, but Florida has still not received a dime of this new federal funding. We know that much of this funding will go through the CDC, and I ask that you take immediate action to allocate this necessary funding to Florida so we can continue to do all we can to combat the spread of this virus in our state. Additionally, we have obligated all federal funding available at this time throughout the state.

 

Our Department of Health is working each day to educate and monitor communities and the entire state is working together to stop the spread of Zika. We all recognize the importance of doing everything possible to prevent the spread of Zika to protect the health and safety of pregnant women and their growing babies. For the sake of our state’s future children, I hope you will do everything in your power to address these critical issues while you are in Florida tomorrow.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rick Scott

Governor

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