President Should Also Provide Complete Breakdown of Zika Funding

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Rick Scott called on President Obama to expedite the allocation of federal funding to Florida to combat the Zika virus. It has been more than a month since Congress passed and the president signed a Zika funding bill yet Florida, the first and only state to have active and ongoing transmission of Zika, has not received any new dollars. The Governor is urging President Obama to immediately allocate the maximum amount of federal funding available to the state and provide a complete breakdown of allocations for the entire $1.1 billion in Zika funding passed in September by Congress.

Governor Scott said, “All year we watched as bureaucracy and politics got in the way of funding for this public health emergency and the time for bureaucracy is over. Now, more than a month since more than a billion dollars of federal funding was authorized for Zika, our state continues to wait on Washington for funding. Today, I am calling on President Obama to immediately expedite the allocation of federal funding to Florida to protect pregnant women and their developing babies. While Florida continues to work through the bureaucratic and highly complex approval process for federal funding, there should be an expedited award to Florida given the fact that we are the only state currently battling local transmission of Zika through mosquitoes.

“We are requesting every dollar available and expect the federal government to give Florida every dollar of funding possible. We are also requesting a complete breakdown of allocations for the $1.1 billion in federal Zika funding passed by Congress and signed by the president in September. Florida is the epicenter of this public health crisis and our residents deserve to know how much federal funding is being provided to keep our families safe.

“While visiting Miami last week, Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the Zika virus will ‘become endemic’. He also stressed the importance of investing in public health, saying, ‘it pays off’. That is why Dr. Frieden should absolutely agree that we need the immediate allocation of all available federal funding to Florida.

“Our state has been actively engaged combatting Zika since our very first travel-related case in February. We have committed every available resource, including more than $61 million in state funding to beat this virus and protect our residents and visitors. We expect every federal dollar possible.”

The appropriation bill for Zika funding required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit a report on the proposed uses of this funding within 30 days and that report should be made available to Florida immediately.

Florida is requesting the maximum federal assistance from the following federal funding sources:

  • Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Disease (ELC) Zika Supplemental;
    • Application for initial $15 million submitted on October 19th. Supplemental application for additional $15 million needed to combat potential endemic in process.
  • Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Zika Supplemental;
    • State is applying for maximum allocation from federal government of $5 million
  • Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) Supplemental;
    • State is applying for maximum allocation from federal government of $20,000
  • Birth Defects Registry Supplemental; and
    • State is applying for maximum allocation from federal government of $360,000
  • Federal CMS Supplemental
    • State is applying for maximum allocation from federal government of $15 million

Detailed timeline of actions taken by Governor Scott to combat the Zika virus in Florida.

OUTSTANDING REQUESTS FROM GOVERNOR SCOTT TO OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

  • The CDC to work directly with the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control District to identify best practices for defeating Zika in the latest area where there is local transmission of Zika 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;
  • 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.

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