Rep. Curbelo Introduces Bill to Eradicate Zika Virus

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Washington, April 21, 2016 | comments

Washington, D.C.—Today, Rep. Curbelo (FL-26) introduced H.R. 5031, the Zika Eradication and Good Government Act. Rep. Curbelo released the following statement:

“The Zika Virus has wreaked havoc throughout Central America, South America and the Caribbean, and we have seen countless pregnant women infected which results in devastating fetal brain defects. The United States must be prepared for the first domestic transmission of the virus, especially as the summer mosquito season begins and international travel is more frequent. For these reasons, I have filed legislation that will maximize the federal government’s coordination in response to eradicating Zika, all while ensuring adequate funds are made available and the taxpayer is protected. Specifically, the Zika Eradication and Good Government Act will do the following:

•             Require all unobligated funds previously made available from FY15 Omnibus, that successfully minimized the Ebola virus, be made available to eliminate Zika

•             Direct all federal agencies receiving funds to work in collaboration and share best practice methods to effectively treat Zika patients and eradicate the disease

•             Create a requirement after future money is dispersed for Zika that directs the President to report back to Congress each month on updated obligations, expenditures, and the effectiveness of the programs 

•             Provides that no new emergency supplemental funds shall be appropriated until all the obligated money made available for Ebola is dispersed, in conjunction with the President’s publicly stated intentions

H.R. 5031 is an important first step forward in the critical preparation that is necessary to mitigate the impacts of Zika, should it significantly impact that United States. The World Health Organization declared Zika to be a public health emergency of international concern on February 1, 2016. As of April 14, 87 cases of Zika have been identified in Florida and another 380 cases have been reported across the country. It is time for the federal government to be proactive in protecting the citizens of the United States and  this bill ensures the resources are available to the appropriate agencies and they are working in unison to keep us safe."

Rep. Curbelo introduced 5031 on April 21, 2016.  To view the bill text, click here. To view a letter sent by Rep. Curbelo to his colleagues, click here.



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