It has been more than two months since the Zika virus was found in Miami-Dade County and almost three-fourths of voters surveyed in a new WLRN-Univision 23 poll are satisfied with the response by county government.
“The satisfaction level was, I think, pretty overwhelming and surprising given the amount of controversy that went around what pesticides to use, where to spray, how to spray, etcetera,” said Anthony Williams, special projects director at Bendixen and Amandi, the firm in charge of the poll.
Williams notes the poll result is a particular victory for Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who is up for re-election next month. “I think there was some comfort taken in how strong he was in his reaction, whereas the state response has been more disconcerting.”
Voters echoed that responsibility, with more than one in five pointing to the state government as the primary level government most responsible in addressing Zika.
The first Zika zone identified by the Florida Department of Health was in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. That designation was lifted Sept. 19. Miami Beach's initial Zika zone was put in place Aug. 19. It was tripled in size to include Mid-Beach on Sept. 16. Then on Oct. 13, the agency declared a Zika zone that includes the Little River neighborhood in Miami.
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an expanded warning recommending all pregnant women in Miami-Dade County or who have spent time in it to be tested for the virus. The guidance also includes pregnant women who may not have visited Miami-Dade, but have had unprotected sex with someone who has.
The WLRN-Univision 23 poll was conducted before the latest CDC recommendations.
The Miami-Dade County Local Issues poll was conducted Oct. 15 and 16, 2016 by the firm Bendixen & Amandi at the request of WLRN and Univision 23. It is based on a sample of 600 Miami-Dade registered voters, who answered questions in English and Spanish. The margin of error is 3.99 percentage points.