FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           PRESS CONTACT:
November 28, 2016                                                                           Brenda Rangel 956.564.1527

Congressman Filemon Vela and Texas Senator Eddie Lucio Issue Statement on Zika Case in Cameron County

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) joined Texas Senator Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) today to issue a statement on the recent discovery of a Zika Virus case in Cameron County:

"I wish the local patient diagnosed with the Zika virus a speedy recovery.  On September 28th, Congress passed and the President signed into law a $1.1 Billion funding package to combat the Zika virus.  As required by this legislation,  the federal agencies charged with confronting the crisis submitted a spending plan to Congress, and in November, Congress released $133 million to federal and state agencies to combat Zika.  More funds are scheduled for distribution within the next month.  Recently, I joined Senator Lucio to invite Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services and Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials to the Rio Grande Valley so that they could understand the urgency of addressing the Zika Virus here in South Texas. We look forward to that discussion and urge federal and state officials to act swiftly to ensure that we limit the risk of further exposure to residents of the Rio Grande Valley and across this nation."

"I am greatly concerned that we have a localized Zika transmission case in Cameron County.  The fact of the matter is, as unfortunate as it may be, counties at the border and along the southern coast are on the front lines of the Zika threat.  This is why our state and federal resources need to be focused here,” said Lucio. “At the very least, state and federal funding should be spent in regions of higher risk of Zika transmission to improve Texas' response to better protect our constituents and unborn children from the menacing virus.  Our thoughts and prayers are with our constituent and her family."


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