More money is coming to fight Zika.
On Thursday Governor Rick Scott announced that he would allocate $25 million dollars in state funds to help fight the mosquito-borne virus. This is in addition to the $36 million he has already allocated for combating the virus, which can cause severe birth defects.
The governor says the state must focus on finding a vaccine to protect pregnant women and their developing babies. Thus the latest funding from Scott is slated to go toward research into finding a vaccine and a more cost-effective way to test for the disease.
The funds will go “to work on finding a vaccine and also to come up with an innovating testing to help our pregnant women find out faster and accurately that hopefully that don’t have Zika,” said Scott.
Scott's announcement comes as Congress continues to be unable to agree on a federal funding package to help fight Zika.
In February, President Barack Obama called on Congress to provide 1.9 billion dollars in funding for the issue.
However, federal lawmakers have been unable to agree on a funding plan to date.
“I can’t imagine why the federal government is not becoming a better partner. I don’t understand why the president and Congress haven’t come together to get this done," said Scott. "This is a national and international issue. The federal government needs to become a better partner. They need to focus on research. They need to focus on getting a vaccine."
The money will be given out after a competitive grant process administered by the Florida Department of Health.
Previous funds were used for things like spraying against mosquitoes and laboratory resources.