U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) introduced legislation on Thursday aimed at curbing the spread of Zika virus, which has already reached approximately 300 reported cases in the U.S.
As part of Curbelo’s proposed Zika Eradication and Good Government Act, H.R. 5031, the federal government would be required to redistribute all unobligated funds previously made available by the Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus, which is credited for having a hand in stopping the spread of the Ebola virus, and make those funds available for the purposes of eliminating Zika.
The measure would also mandate that all federal agencies engaged in fighting the disease be obligated to cooperate ad share best practice methods for stopping the disease.
“The Zika virus has wreaked havoc throughout Central America, South America and the Caribbean, and we have seen countless pregnant women infected which results in devastating fetal brain defects,” Curbelo said.“The United States must be prepared for the first domestic transmission of the virus, especially as the summer mosquito season begins and international travel is more frequent. For these reasons, I have filed legislation that will maximize the federal government’s coordination in response to eradicating Zika, all while ensuring adequate funds are made available and the taxpayer is protected.”