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Rick Scott headed to Washington, D.C., to talk Zika

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Gov. Rick Scott is headed to Washington, D.C., to push for Zika funding.

Scott will travel to Washington Sept. 6 to meet with members of Congress, according to the governor’s office. The governor is expected to call on lawmakers to immediately pass a Zika funding package.

“The Zika virus demands immediate federal action and I will impress upon congressional members the urgency to protect our residents and visitors,” said Scott in a statement. “The health and safety of Florida’s families cannot be overshadowed by partisan politics. Our state has several requests that the Obama Administration has repeatedly failed to fulfill and I expect the president to work with his federal agencies and Congress to fully fulfill these requests quickly.”

There are 43 cases of locally acquired Zika in four Florida counties. According to the Department of Health, there are 636 cases of Zika in Florida. That includes the 43 locally acquired cases and 70 cases involving pregnant women.

Scott in June used his executive authority to set aside $26.2 million in state funds for Zika preparedness, prevention and response. In a statement Thursday, Scott said more than $23 million has been allocated to local mosquito control and Zika prevention efforts.

The state has called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to send 5,000 antibody tests. Scott said Wednesday fewer than 1,200 have arrived.

The Florida Department of Health still believes active transmissions are only taking place in Wynwood and Miami Beach. Cases in Pinellas and Palm Beach counties were identified this week.

Scott’s trip to Washington, D.C., will coincide with the end of Congress’ summer recess.

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