Governor will meet with Congressional leaders on Zika next week

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott released the following statement announcing that he will travel to Washington D.C. next week, May 11th and 12th, to meet with Congressional leaders on the importance of putting partisanship aside and treating the Zika virus threat like a hurricane, which triggers specific preparation and response efforts by the federal government.

Governor Scott said, “Florida has now had more than 100 documented cases of the Zika virus. We are now headed into summer, when heat and rainfall cause our mosquito population to grow. Simultaneously, the Olympic games in Brazil will heavily increase travel to a country where the Zika virus is spreading rapidly.

“We don’t yet know for certain what will happen with this virus, but we owe our citizens a vigorous and thorough preparation effort at the federal level to best protect their health. Congress and the Obama Administration have discussed different plans to combat the Zika virus, some with different price tags. While there is no doubt that Washington wastes money on many things, that vast history of wrongful spending should not stop the federal government from doing the right thing now by executing a robust plan to prevent and combat the spread of Zika in America.

“Like the movements of a hurricane, many things about the Zika virus are still unknown. What long-term effects it has on people, especially pregnant women, have yet to be conclusively determined. The virus is relatively new and much of the federal government’s own information on how it is transmitted and its long-term health effects is still evolving. Just as the time to prepare for a hurricane is before landfall, the time to prepare for combating this virus if it becomes mosquito-borne is now. Washington must put politics aside and agree to a comprehensive plan to protect and respond to the spread of Zika in America. To best protect our citizens, this agreement must be made immediately.

“Working together, Washington leaders can ensure Zika protection and response efforts are both fully funded and fully safeguarded against waste – just as they enact safeguards on emergency spending around a natural disaster. We have enough opportunity for politics in 2016. The federal government’s actions to combat Zika should be without political grandstanding, and soley focus on protecting our citizens from a dangerous threat.”



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