Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Grayson urges GOP in Congress to approve Zika funding

During a South Florida town hall stop Saturday, U.S. Senate candidate Alan Grayson called for Republicans to pass President Barack Obama's $1.1 billion Zika bill before the virus spreads further.

"This is not just a problem for today or a problem for tomorrow," Grayson told the crowd of around 60, "it's a problem for the next 80 years."

Grayson, a Democratic congressman, mentioned the two deaths attributed to the Zika virus — a travel-related case in Utah and one in Puerto Rico — and warned that without swift government action the virus could claim more lives.

"It'll go from Miami to Fort Lauderdale," he said. "And probably within a matter of just a few months — in Orlando, my home district."

The president is right, Grayson told the audience of supporters, and his billion dollar bill hasn't been passed because Republicans are "picking and picking and picking at it while people die."

He offered the crowd, clustered in the ballroom of the Stadium Hotel in Miami Gardens, tips on home mosquito control, including wearing bug repellent, overturning containers with standing water and fixing screens.

The rest of the event was filled with questions from a friendly audience whose main quarrel with Grayson was that he didn't fight back against attacks hard enough.

Grayson is locked in a heated Democratic primary battle with U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, both seeking the Senate seat now held by Republican Marco Rubio.

One audience member brought up the allegations of spousal abuse leveled against Grayson recently, which he called "nonsense dredged up from literally 20 years ago." The supporter challenged him to reject the accusations more forcefully.

The abusive spouse was not him, Grayson told the crowd, but his wife. She hit him, he said, and told police Grayson hit her.

"That's what happens when mommy hits daddy and then also hits the children and tries to have them arrested," he said. "It's a tragedy and it's been exploited ruthlessly by Patrick Murphy."

Grayson also criticized the government response to the local Zika virus transmission in Wynwood. He acknowledged the difficulties of spraying residential areas, but said the spraying needs to be street by street.

"It's clearly not enough," he said. "This is now imminent."

Grayson urges GOP in Congress to approve Zika funding 08/06/16 [Last modified: Saturday, August 6, 2016 8:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Manchester police say they have made three more arrests in concert bombing

    World

    BREAKING: Manchester police say they have made three more arrests over pop concert bombing. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

    PREVIOUS STORY:

    People light candles after a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester, England, Tuesday May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night. [Associated Press]
  2. Who will headline the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show in Tampa?

    Blogs

    The NFL announced Tuesday that Tampa will host Super Bowl LV in 2021, a result of stadium construction delays in Los Angeles.

    Taylor Swift performed at Raymond James Stadium in 2015. Could she return for Super Bowl LV in 2021?
  3. New DEP secretary says there's no conflict in political side businesses

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

     Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday May 23rd, on a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year. [Florida Governor's Office]
  4. Trump says 'we can use peace' during meeting with Pope Francis

    Religion

    VATICAN CITY — President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican City on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.

    Pope Francis meets with President Donald Trump on the occasion of their private audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. [Associated Press]
  5. Pinellas construction licensing board looking for ways to fill financial hole

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board's interim leader told the governing board Tuesday that the troubled agency is looking for ways to climb out of its