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Nelson Calls On Congress To Approve More Zika Funding As Another Local Case Is Confirmed In Miami

Sen. Bill Nelson meets with elected officials in Miami to call on Congress to fund Zika research and prevention.
Amanda Rabines
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Elected officials and city representatives gathered on Friday at Miami-Dade’s Emergency Management Center to support Florida Sen. Bill Nelson in his request for Congress to increase funding to fight Zika.

Sen. Nelson called the need for aZikavaccine "urgent and necessary."

“Trying to get that message across to these other senators and House members that are in other parts in the country, it’s out of sight out of mind for them,” said Nelson. 

He says he’s looking into the likely possibility that there are more cases of Zika unreported in Florida.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are close to 400 cases in Florida and nearly 7,300 in the 50 states and the U.S. territories.

On the same day, the Florida Department of Health confirmed that another locally-acquired case was found in the Wynwood area, bringing the total number to 16.

The mayor of Miami, Tomás Regalado, said Wynwood has been avoided ever since the CDC issued a Zika-related travel warning for pregnant women.

“I think the media and the authorities have singled out Wynwood as ‘Ground Zero’ throughout the United States for Zika, and I believe that is not the case,” said Regalado.

Regalado stresses Zika could be in many different cities by now.

He asked Nelson to consider the economic costs of Zika when the senator asks Congress to raise funding for Zika and prevention.

“Wynwood is an investment of more than a billion dollars,” said Regalado. “Well, guess what? We’re going to lose hundreds of jobs because the damage has been done.” 

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Amanda Rabines