Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure there are no delays in the disbursement of additional funds to fight Zika in Florida, where standing water in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew will make mosquito control especially critical.
The full text of Rubio’s letter is below:
October 6, 2016
The Honorable Sylvia Burwell
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20201
Dear Secretary Burwell:
The anti-Zika funding package recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama provided $1.1 billion in emergency funding to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Of these funds, $394 million was specifically appropriated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and can be used for mosquito control and surveillance efforts.
With Hurricane Matthew having already dumped alarming amounts of rain in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, my home state of Florida is expecting the same. The danger has grown, and there is a high likelihood of significant flooding that results in large amounts of standing water. This would provide a ripe breeding ground for mosquitoes, including some that may be carrying the Zika virus.
I urge you to take this emergency into consideration and ensure there are no delays in disbursing additional funds to fight Zika, especially as it relates to mosquito control, which will become especially critical as Florida deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in the days ahead.
United States Senator