WASHINGTON – Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) and Frederica Wilson (FL-24) released the following statement after meeting with Florida Governor Rick Scott in Washington, D.C. to discuss their continued efforts to eradicate the Zika virus.
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen: “The South Florida Congressional delegation remains united in demanding that both the House and Senate put politics aside and do their jobs by passing a comprehensive funding bill that will provide our community with the tools it needs to stop and eradicate the Zika virus once and for all. This is the right thing to do for families in South Florida and across our nation. In our meeting with Governor Scott, I stressed the importance of accurate, transparent, and timely communications from FDOH about the Zika threat in our community so that residents and visitors alike can make informed decisions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. We continue to learn important lessons about Zika and the efficacy of our own emergency response efforts, but our community deserves even more transparency and cooperation between federal, state and local agencies during the difficult road ahead as we work to eliminate the virus and its invasive mosquito host.”
Rep. Diaz-Balart: "Today's meeting with Governor Scott continues to highlight his leadership on the issue. Since the first threat of this disease, Governor Scott has worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the Sunshine State for federal funding to combat the Zika virus. He also ensured the state was doing its part and utilizing all of its resources. I know how urgently we need this funding here in Florida. I have met with elected leaders at the local and state level, as well as those at the county mosquito control departments who are battling the virus on the front lines. I remain committed to passing immediate Zika funding to prevent, treat, and respond to this disease. As I've said many times, and continue to emphasize, we must fund and spend every dollar needed, and not one penny less."
Rep. Curbelo: “I thank Governor Scott for meeting with Members of the House and Senate to discuss the need to pass funding for Zika eradication efforts. Zika is both a public health and economic issue for our South Florida community, and Congress has been too slow to act. I implore my colleagues to rise above politics and pass a clean bill that will help American families who are suffering at the hands of this disease.”
Rep. Bilirakis: “I reiterated my support to the Governor for proper funding for Florida’s Zika public health crisis. I’ve discussed the issue of Zika with leadership of HHS, FDA, CDC and NIH, and have been involved in emergency response oversight since February. Florida is on the front lines in the fight to combat Zika. Additional funds would help us better detect the virus, study its affects, ensure patients have access to the care they need, and prevent the spread of Zika. We must do all we can to stay ahead of a potential explosive outbreak – to do this, we must attack Zika head on in our state.”
Congresswoman Wilson: “Today we had a good and productive meeting with Governor Scott. It is gratifying to know that we are on the same page about the urgent nature of the Zika outbreak in our state and its impact on both public health and Florida’s economy. We also are in complete agreement about the need for Congress to pass a clean bill as quickly as possible. We need a bill without any policy riders or poison pills. That’s all we’re asking for and that’s all Governor Scott is asking for.”