In the News
Zika: Lois Frankel urges House to approve more money to fight ‘looming health threat’
George Bennett | Palm Beach Post
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, flanked by Palm Beach County mosquito control supervisor Gary Goode and Michael Farzan of The Scripps Research Institute.
WEST PALM BEACH — U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, today urged the Republican-controlled House to approve more money to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus and urged citizens to do their part to control mosquitoes.
“It is a looming health threat,” said Frankel, conducting a news conference in a friend’s lush back yard. “Our delegation here in Florida, both senators as well as the president of the United States, have recognized it and there’s going to be a push again next week when we go back to Congress to get more funding.”
Old tires or discarded bottles can collect water and become mosquito breeding grounds, said Gary Goode of Palm Beach County’s Mosquito Control Division.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has called for emergency federal money to combat Zika. President Barack Obama requested $1.9 billion to fight Zika in February; the Republican-controlled Senate last month approved $1.1 billion, while the House has offered $622 million.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has been an unlikely ally of Obama’s on the Zika issue, urging the House to support the White House figure.
Frankel said the House position is “underfunding it quite a bit.”
She said Florida is “somewhat ground zero” for the fight against Zika because “we have conditions that are susceptible to mosquitoes and an economy that relies heavily on tourism. We have got to take precautions, and it’s not just government doing its part, it’s the community doing its part.”
Gary Goode of Palm Beach County’s Mosquito Control Division said people can help combat mosquitoes by ridding their yards of old tires, water bottles or other debris where water can collect.
“Work with your neighbors and just scour your yards for anything that might be holding water,” Goode said.