Rick Scott: Federal Plan Needed To Fight Zika Virus
Gov. Rick Scott, expected to travel to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, reiterated Tuesday that he intends to push federal officials to craft a plan to attack the spreading Zika virus.
"Summer is coming on. We are going to have more rainfall. We are going to have more mosquitoes," Scott told reporters after a state Cabinet meeting.
Florida has 109 documented cases — the most of any state — of the mosquito-borne virus, which emerged last year in South America. The virus, while causing mild sickness, has been associated with severe birth defects.
Scott's office announced last week that he would travel to Washington to push for federal action. Asked Tuesday what he is seeking for Florida, Scott said he will talk to members of Congress about funding for local mosquito boards and resources such as testing kits.
"My job is to keep the 20 million people that live in our state safe, the over 100 million people who come here as tourists safe," Scott said. "The federal government needs to be a good partner."
A $1.9 billion emergency funding request by President Barack Obama to help deal with Zika remains tied up in Congress.
Scott late Tuesday afternoon was scheduled to hold phone calls with Interim Surgeon General Celeste Philip, Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon and Wayne Gale, executive director of the Lee County Mosquito Control District, to discuss Zika preparedness.