Mon | Jul 16, 2018

Disaster coming without help on Zika fight

Published:Friday | June 3, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Brooke Zale, a scientist, prepares a mosquito sample that will be tested for the Zika virus at the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, last Thursday, in Kissimmee, Florida.
Cars pass the Hackensack University Medical Center, on Wednesday, in Hackensack, New Jersey. Doctors said a baby born to a mother with the Zika virus appears to be affected by the disease.


Florida will experience a "disaster" with the Zika virus if federal authorities don't immediately provide money to help battle the virus, Florida Governor Rick Scott said on Wednesday.

Scott, who had already visited Washington, DC, in an effort to get Congress to act, sent a strongly worded letter to President Barack Obama asking the federal government to do something. The Republican governor called it "profoundly disappointing" that Congress has not taken "immediate action."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest responded to the letter by saying that "we hope that Republicans in Congress will finally get the message" and approve the $1.9 billion that the president has been seeking. Congress is currently divided over how much money to spend to battle the virus, which can cause grave birth defects and be spread by certain mosquitoes.

Florida currently has 162 cases of Zika virus, including 38 pregnant women. All of the cases involve residents infected outside the country, but state officials are worried that the onset of hurricane season and wet weather will lead to the virus being transmitted to mosquitoes domestically.