Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, on Monday announced his support for an additional $1.9 billion in funding requested by President Obama to contain and eradicate the Zika virus. According to a press release, Buchanan
based his decision on troubling new developments, including the first fatality on U.S. soil and new research revealing that Zika eats away at the fetal brain and destroys the ability to think. Researchers also say they have learned that up to 29 percent (not 1 percent as originally believed) of pregnant women infected with Zika showed fetal abnormalities. New evidence also shows that the disease can be sexually transmitted in addition to being carried by mosquitos.
If approved, the $1.9 billion would be used to expand education, prevention and mosquito control programs, improve diagnostics and testing, and would also go toward the development of a vaccine and research into the complications of contracting the virus.