Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson Applauds Passage of $1.1 Billion in Federal Zika Funding
MIAMI, FL – Today Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson joined Republican Congressmen Carlos Curbelo and Mario Diaz-Balart at a press conference to applaud the passage of a continuing resolution that includes $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus. The funding is part of a stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government open through December 9. Congresswoman Wilson has been at the forefront of the fight for Zika funding since July, when the first local transmissions were confirmed in Wynwood, which is in the heart of her district.
“The $1.1 billion provision to combat the Zika virus is a victory for South Florida, our constituents, and the world,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “Zika’s epicenter was in Wynwood, which became an open laboratory in the quest to find solutions to stopping its spread. We know so much more than we did when the first Zika transmission cases were confirmed, but there is much more to learn. Now we have the funding for research, testing, and prevention efforts.”
The continuing resolution includes $394 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for mosquito control and surveillance, $397 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development authority for Zika research and vaccine development, $175.1 million to fund Zika response efforts, and $75 million to reimburse U.S. states and territories with active Zika transmissions for the treatment of individuals who do not have private health insurance.
Rep. Wilson and a bipartisan, bicameral group of Florida lawmakers recently hosted a Capitol Hill press conference to provide an update on a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan that she led requesting Zika funding, and a bipartisan bill introduced by Congressman Curt Clawson that she co-sponsored with Congressman David Jolly.
In addition to her work in Congress, Rep. Wilson conducted extensive outreach initiatives in her district to educate residents about the threat Zika posed. She hosted a town hall meeting featuring medical professionals, community leaders, business owners, and elected officials to provide updates on efforts to combat the virus, as well as outreach events in Little Haiti and Overtown, which are adjacent to Wynwood.
“I’m certain Wynwood business owners, residents, and patrons will feel as though a weight has been lifted off of the community’s shoulders,” she said. “Tomorrow, I will join Governor Rick Scott and other elected officials and community leaders for ‘Dine Out Wynwood’ to support the businesses that felt the devastating financial impact of the Zika virus. I encourage everyone to join us to help Wynwood bounce back.”