The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned pregnant women not to travel to Florida in areas where the Zika virus has been found. This comes after the virus was found to have spread to Miami Beach. The virus was previously found only in the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami:
Federal health authorities suggested Friday that pregnant women and their partners consider postponing travel to all of Miami-Dade County after Florida identified a second zone of local Zika transmission, a swath of Miami Beach that includes the popular tourist magnet of South Beach.
Pregnant women should not travel to that particular zone where the Zika virus is active, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, and “pregnant women and their sexual partners who are concerned about potential Zika virus exposure may also consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.”
Because of the nature of virus and its absence of symptoms and the incubation period, the C.D.C. warns that the restricted areas may not be limited to just Wynwood and Miami Beach.
But while the feds are sounding the alarm, Rick Scott, who has continued to encourage tourists to visit Florida, is trying to minimize the threat:
“We have two small areas,” he said. “One less than a mile, and we’ve already been able to reduce the footprint. We have another area now that’s 1.5 miles on Miami Beach. That’s out of a state that takes 15 hours to drive from Key West to Pensacola, so let’s put things in perspective.”
Given that until recently Scott had little interest in worrying about Zika beyond trying to somehow blame GOP Congressional inaction on President Obama, I'd trust the feds on this one.
As you'll recall, the President asked for Zika funding months ago, but instead, Republicans blocked it and are currently taking a seven week vacation while they ignore it.
For his part, Scott cut funding for mosquito control not long after taking office, in that it was merely another "big government" intrusion. Never mind that another "big government" intrusion he favored was signing abortion restrictions into law that also impede Zika research. He also had a hand in blocking Medicaid in particular and health care in general.
In spite of the Zika threat, Scott has continued to push tourism in the state despite the potential health dangers. In fact, just days ago he issued a press release bragging about an all-time high in Florida tourism. In that press release, there's no mention of Zika to be found.
Since he prefers to run government like a business, it's hardly surprising he would seek to minimize health dangers when they might cut into the bottom line of the tourism industry that cuts him some pretty hefty campaign checks on a regular basis.