Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today urged President Obama to ensure there are no unnecessary delays in disbursing the anti-Zika funding the Senate and House of Representatives approved yesterday.
The full text of Rubio’s letter is below.
September 29, 2016
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
Congress has finally passed additional funding to fight the Zika virus. While I supported your initial request for $1.9 billion, I am pleased $1.1 billion has been appropriated through the Continuing Resolution and these much-needed resources will start to flow to the states, territories, agencies, health experts, and researchers on the front lines of this public health crisis.
The number of Americans infected with Zika in Puerto Rico and Florida continues to grow. Florida, the only place in the mainland United States where local transmission has been confirmed, currently has more than 900 cases of Zika, including 92 involving pregnant women as of September 28th. Almost 20,000 Americans in U.S. territories are also infected, with the vast majority of them in Puerto Rico. If these resources to fight Zika are not distributed quickly, the chance to stop it from spreading even more could slip away.
I request that your administration do everything in its power to make sure this money is immediately sent to the states, territories, and agencies that need it the most. Any delays in disbursing these resources could have real consequences for real people. This is a public health crisis that requires a robust, proactive, all-hands-on-deck response, and we must make sure we are doing everything possible to prevent more infections, find a vaccine, and eradicate this virus.
Thank you for your consideration.
United States Senator