Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement today after Puerto Rico confirmed the first death from the Zika virus:

“I’m saddened to learn that we have already suffered our first death from the Zika virus and my thoughts are with the victim’s family. As I’ve said for months, this is an unfolding public health crisis in Florida and Puerto Rico and soon, other parts of the nation. We need House Republicans to stop dragging their feet on emergency supplemental funding for Zika and join President Obama and Congressional Democrats by taking immediate action to arrest this burgeoning health crisis.”


Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Nita Lowey (NY-17) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) introduced H.R. 5044, an emergency supplemental appropriations bill to mount a robust response to the Zika virus at home and abroad. The bill reflects the Administration’s request of February 22, 2016 for a total of $1.9 billion in emergency spending. The request is updated to include increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for vaccine and diagnostic research and development, and a corresponding reduction in funding for CDC Facilities and a Contingency Fund to respond to emerging needs.