HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent the following letter to President Barack Obama in order for the federal government to grant the "immediate approval of funds to combat the Zika virus."
Dear President Obama:
I write to request that your administration immediately approve the expenditure of funds for Zika virus preparedness and response. In light of the mosquito-to-human transmission of the Zika virus in Florida and rising concerns about Zika in Texas it is imperative that the federal
government act now to free up whatever funds are available to combat Zika. Reports from Congress suggest that the administration has approximately $400 million that it could use to protect Zika-prone states. I would urge your administration to dispense a meaningful portion of that money to sufficiently combat against the growing threat of Zika in Texas.
I express this sentiment not only on behalf ofthe State, but also on behalf of local government
leaders seeking relief and protection from Zika. As you know, local health departments serve on
the front line of defense against the spread of communicable diseases. For example, the Texas
Border Coalition which represents communities along the Texas—Mexico border — is
concerned that sufficient funding is not available for mosquito eradication. These communities
are unable to pay for the vector control needed to combat the Zika virus. In light of reports that
millions of dollars are available for Zika prevention and response, I strongly encourage you to do whatever you can to ensure those dollars are allocated to Texas and other affected states as soon as possible.
The bottom line is that money for Zika preparedness and response is not flowing quickly enough to our county and local health departments. We request that immediate aid be provided to combat the spread ofthe Zika virus and, in turn, protect our fellow Texans.