Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Zika

From the very beginning, I have said the Zika virus had the potential to become a public health crisis. Unfortunately, that is now the case, and Florida is ground zero. I believe we need to fund and spend every dollar needed to combat, treat, and respond to the Zika virus, and not one penny less. 

Background on the Zika response efforts of Congressman Diaz-Balart and House Republicans:

  • February 18, 2016- House Appropriations Chairman Rogers, State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairwoman Grangers, and Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee Chairman Cole sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, urging the administration to use unobligated Ebola funds to respond to Zika virus.
     
  • February 24, 2016- Diaz-Balart met with representatives from Oxitec, a company that has genetically engineered the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus to eliminate them. Oxitec is in the process of getting FDA approval to release these mosquitoes in affected areas.
     
  • May 11, 2016- Reps. Diaz-Balart, Curbelo, and Bilirakis met with Governor Rick Scott to discuss the threat of Zika.
     
  • May 16, 2016- Appropriations Chairman Rogers introduces H.R. 5243, the Zika Response Appropriations Act.
     
  • May 18, 2016- Diaz-Balart voted for H.R. 5243, the Zika Response Appropriations Act. This bill would have made $622 million in unused Ebola funds and HHS non-recurring expenses available immediately to fight Zika.
     
  • May 25, 2016- Diaz-Balart voted for H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act, which would eliminate a duplicative regulatory process when using pesticides already approved by relevant agencies.
     
  • June 15, 2016- Diaz-Balart attended a Florida Delegation Hearing on Zika Outbreak Preparedness to hear from Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC; Dr. Mario Stevenson, Chief of Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Miami; and Mr. T. Wayne Gayle, Executive Director of Lee County Mosquito and Hyacinth Control Districts.
     
  • June 23, 2016- Diaz-Balart voted to approve the conference report for H.R. 2577, which included $1.1 billion in funding for Zika. The conference report passed the House, but has been blocked in the Senate.
     
  • June 25, 2016- Diaz-Balart met with CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden to hear about the CDC’s needs for Zika funding and how he could be helpful as a member of the Appropriations Committee.
     
  • July 14, 2016- House Appropriations Chairman Rogers, along with Senate Appropriations Chairman Cochran, led a letter to the White House, urging immediate action to respond to the Zika crisis. Earlier that day, for the second time, Senate Democrats blocked the House approved bill that would provide immediate funding to address Zika.
     
  • July 29, 2016- First cases of locally acquired Zika in the United States are announced. These cases were acquired in Wynwood, Florida.
     
  • August 2, 2016- Diaz-Balart joined the Florida delegation in a letter to CDC Director Frieden, urging him to reconsider the funding allocation given to Florida in Zika-specific funds.
     
  • August 4, 2016- Reps. Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen participated in a meeting with Governor Scott, Senator Rubio, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, CDC Director Frieden, and Florida Surgeon General Celeste Philip.
     
  • August 5, 2016- Reps. Diaz-Balart and Clawson sent a letter to Senate leadership, urging them to take whatever action was available to them to get a funding bill passed immediately.
     
  • August 19, 2016- Locally transmitted cases increase to 35 in Florida, and a second zone of local transmission has been identified in Miami Beach, Florida.
     
  • September 2, 2016- Rep. Diaz-Balart received briefings from local mosquito control leaders in Collier, Hendry, and Miami-Dade Counties.

More on Zika

Apr 6, 2017
Today, Representatives Diaz-Balart and Deutch and Senators Rubio and Nelson led a bipartisan, bicameral group of 47 members of Congress in urging President Trump to maintain a comprehensive effort across the federal government to combat the Zika virus.
Oct 13, 2016
Representatives Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, Curbelo, Wilson, and Wasserman Schultz released the following statement after sending a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell requesting that recently appropriated Zika funds be disbursed immediately to affected areas, including Florida. Miami-Dade County is the first confirmed location of local transmission in the continental United States.
Sep 28, 2016
Congressman Diaz-Balart released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 5325, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, which included Zika funding and a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government open.
Sep 22, 2016
Representatives Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, Curbelo, and Wasserman Schultz released the following statement after meeting with Miami-Dade County Mayor Gimenez and City of Miami Beach Mayor Levine regarding the continuing battle against the Zika virus in South Florida.
Sep 15, 2016
Los representantes Díaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, Curbelo, Bilirakis y Wilson hicieron estas declaraciones después de reunirse con el gobernador de Florida, Rick Scott, en Washington, D.C. para comentar sus continuos esfuerzos para erradicar el virus Zika.
Sep 14, 2016
Representatives Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, Curbelo, Bilirakis and Wilson released the following statement after meeting with Governor Scott in Washington, D.C. to discuss their continued efforts to eradicate the Zika virus in Florida.
Sep 14, 2016
Los representantes Díaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, Curbelo, Bilirakis y Wilson hicieron estas declaraciones después de reunirse con el gobernador de Florida, Rick Scott, en Washington, D.C. para comentar sus continuos esfuerzos para erradicar el virus Zika.
Sep 6, 2016
Congressman Diaz-Balart released the following statement after Senate Democrats blocked a vote to advance Zika funding for the third time.
Sep 2, 2016
Congressman Diaz-Balart released the following statement after he was briefed by leaders of the local mosquito control departments of Collier, Hendry, and Miami-Dade Counties.
Aug 26, 2016
Congressman Diaz-Balart released the following statement after participating in a Zika preparedness roundtable with Florida Governor Scott, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, and other local elected officials.