Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday called on the Obama administration to expedite federal funding for the Zika virus to the state.
“More than a month since more than a billion dollars of federal funding was authorized for Zika, our state continues to wait on Washington for funding,” Scott, a Republican, said in a statement. “Today, I am calling on President Obama to immediately expedite the allocation of federal funding to Florida to protect pregnant women and their developing babies.”
“While Florida continues to work through the bureaucratic and highly complex approval process for federal funding, there should be an expedited award to Florida given the fact that we are the only state currently battling local transmission of Zika through mosquitoes,” he added.
Congress approved $1.1 billion in federal funding for the virus in September after months of negotiations. The Department of Health and Human Services has defended the speed at which the money is being distributed, saying that the administration must take the appropriate steps now that the money has been allocated.
The Centers for Disease Control says it has provided nearly $16.5 million in Zika-specific funding to the state, and more than $29 million in Public Health Emergency Program funding that can go toward responding to the virus.
Florida has requested millions of dollars in federal assistance, according to Scott’s office.
“We are requesting every dollar available and expect the federal government to give Florida every dollar of funding possible,” Scott said in a statement. “We are also requesting a complete breakdown of allocations for the $1.1 billion in federal Zika funding passed by Congress and signed by the president in September. Florida is the epicenter of this public health crisis and our residents deserve to know how much federal funding is being provided to keep our families safe.”