Scott seeks $1.1 billion in federal funding to combat Zika virus

Lawmakers support backing funding bill

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI - Gov. Rick Scott, who declared the Zika virus a public health emergency three months ago, Thursday ramped up the call for federal funding.

He appeared at Roundtable talks with local officials in Tampa and then in Miami at the headquarters of the Miami-Dade County Health Department.  

"We all send our tax dollars to Washington. We expect them to do their job," Scott said.  "This is a national issue."

Florida's current efforts to combat Zika include educating the public about mosquito protection practices, and targeting mosquito control in areas where people test positive for the Zika virus.

"This is a very proactive approach which we are very proud of," said Florida Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip, who joined the governor at the two roundtable discussions.  "However, it is resource-intensive."

Florida lawmakers are jointly backing the U.S. Senates bill for more $1.1 billion in Zika funding.  A House bill offers about a third of that.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, filed a bill Thursday to earmark an annual $130 million for local mosquito control and for Zika testing at public health laboratories.   

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