Scott Glad Congress Allocated Funds To Fight Zika

Sep 30, 2016

After making two lobbying trips to Washington, D.C., and authorizing $61.2 million in emergency state spending, Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday he is glad Congress reached agreement on a $1.1 billion initiative to fight the mosquito-borne  Zika virus.

"It's great that Congress finally passed the Zika bill," Scott said after the U.S. House and Senate voted on the measure Wednesday.

The governor said it was unclear how much money Florida would receive from the federal initiative. Scott said he would ask for the state to be reimbursed for its $61.2 million in emergency Zika spending, including his proposal for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to match the state's $25 million for vaccine research.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan's office said $933 million of the federal funding will go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including $394 million to the CDC for mosquito control and surveillance. Another $397 million is slated for the National Institutes of Health for vaccine and diagnostic development.

As of Thursday afternoon, Florida had 932 Zika cases, including 92 infections of pregnant women, according to numbers posted online by the state Department of Health. The virus can cause severe birth defects.