Miami, Florida—Today the city of Miami Beach confirmed five cases of locally transmitted Zika. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), a staunch advocate for increased Zika funding, released the following statement:
“Today’s confirmation that locally transmitted Zika has reached the city of Miami Beach is troubling. While the response effort is being fully funded today, it is imperative for Congress to act as soon as possible to guarantee that the work being done by the federal government, state and local governments, medical experts, and others continues without interruption. Wynwood, the first neighborhood with cases of locally transmitted Zika, has experienced a dramatic decrease in business, and the cases in Miami Beach, a top tourist destination in the state of Florida, will no doubt have similar negative impacts on our economy. In addition to being a serious public health crisis, the spread of Zika threatens Florida's hard working families and small businesses.
During a recent roundtable in my Miami District office which brought together local stakeholders and health experts, we discussed the procedures that are in place to deal with Zika and the best practices to keep our families safe. It's important that we all follow the necessary precautions outlined by organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), like using mosquito repellent and removing any standing water. In addition to helping raise awareness here at home, I will continue to fight for Florida by making sure Congress does its part to keep our families safe.”
Background on Rep. Curbelo's Zika eradication efforts:
On May 11, Reps. Curbelo, Bilirakis, and Diaz-Balart met with Governor Rick Scott to discuss the need for Congress to come together and fund Zika eradication efforts. They also discussed Curbelo's bill, the Zika Eradication and Good Government Act.
On May 18, Curbelo voted against H.R. 5243, the Zika Response Appropriations Act, because it did not guarantee funds would be made available after the end of this fiscal year.
On May 26, Curbelo supported a package of military and Zika related bills, which included a bipartisan compromise on Zika funding of $1.1 billion.
On June 3, Curbelo and Senator Rubio held a joint press conference in Miami, Florida, urging their colleagues in the House and Senate to pass Zika funding when they returned to session.
On June 21, in a letter to Congressional Conferees appointed to H.R. 4794/H.R. 5243, Curbelo urged his colleagues to support the Conference Report which included $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus.
On June 23, with Curbelo's support, the House adopted the Conference Report to H.R. 2577, which included $1.1 billion towards Zika eradication efforts.
On July 13, Curbelo spoke on the House Floor to urge the Senate to unite and provide funding to eradicate this disease that could devastate our communities.
On August 4, Curbelo spoke to CNN's Carol Costello about the need for Congress to act responsibly to address the long-term threats of Zika.
On August 4, Curbelo traveled to Wynwood and met with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to discuss the need for additional funds to be allocated to the state of Florida.
On August 18, Curbelo hosted a roundtable with local stakeholders and health experts to discuss the current Zika situation and raise awareness for South Florida families.