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Rubio Warns of Post-Hurricane Mosquito-Friendly Environment

Friday, October 7, 2016 6:42
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Senator Marco Rubio has been instrumental in promoting and aiding the effort to eradicate the Zika virus.

President Obama recently signed into law an “anti-Zika funding package” that provides the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $1.1 billion in emergency funding, of which $394 million has been appropriated to fight disease-carrying mosquitoes.

But the $394 million is not enough for Rubio. He wants more.

Due to the damage Hurricane Matthew will surely bring to Florida, the aftermath of the damage will lead to significant amount of standing water.

Standing water is the breading ground for mosquitoes. Even the smallest amount of standing water, including the amount found in Bromeliads, as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has highlighted, will bread the bugs.

Rubio penned a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell asking to see to it that any “delays in disbursement of additional funds to fight Zika in Florida” is prevented.

“The anti-Zika funding package recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama provided $1.1 billion in emergency funding to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Of these funds, $394 million was specifically appropriated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and can be used for mosquito control and surveillance efforts.

With Hurricane Matthew having already dumped alarming amounts of rain in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, my home state of Florida is expecting the same. The danger has grown, and there is a high likelihood of significant flooding that results in large amounts of standing water. This would provide a ripe breeding ground for mosquitoes, including some that may be carrying the Zika virus.

I urge you to take this emergency into consideration and ensure there are no delays in disbursing additional funds to fight Zika, especially as it relates to mosquito control, which will become especially critical as Florida deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in the days ahead.”-Sen. Marco Rubio                                                    


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