282 Zika Cases in Florida
Top health officials warned Wednesday that the Zika virus threatens much of the Western Hemisphere, with Florida, Puerto Rico and Brazil in the crosshairs. At a Senate hearing convened by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, three senior U.S. government experts urged Congress to pass a $1.1 billion Zika-prevention bill that has been stalled by partisan politics.
“We have made difficult decisions and redirected resources from other important public health activities to support our most critical needs,” Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told senators on a Senate Foreign Affairs subcommittee focused on the Western Hemisphere.
“These redirected funds, however, are not enough to support a comprehensive Zika response, and they divert funding from other critically important public health activities,” Frieden said.
The CDC chief criticized partisan congressional squabbling that has held up the emergency Zika funds.
“This is no way to fight epidemics,” he said.
Rubio, a Miami Republican, described the harm already wrought by Zika in his state and in Puerto Rico.
Florida, he said, reported 13 new infections Monday. With those, the state had a total 282 known cases – 129 of them in South Florida – more than any other state except New York.
Labels: Health Crisis