Carlos Beruff is calling on federal lawmakers to step up their efforts to help stop the spread of the Zika virus.
In a statement Wednesday, the Republican U.S. Senate hopeful said: “protecting our citizens is the primary role of the federal government.”
And while he said the government often spends too much money, preventing the spread of the virus is key.
“Preventing and treating Zika is vital to all Americans, and especially Floridians, who are always on the front lines of any potential virus outbreak,” said Beruff. “Instead of taking action now to deal with the threat at hand, the Washington establishment is dragging its feet.”
According to the Department of Health, three new travel-related cases of the Zika virus were reported in Florida on Wednesday. Two of the new cases were in Volusia County, and one case was located in Orange County. That brings the total number of Zika cases in Florida to 112.
Beruff’s call for action comes as Gov. Rick Scott travels to Washington, D.C., to meet with congressional leaders about how they can help combat the spread. Scott was scheduled to meet with members of Florida’s Republican congressional delegation, including Reps. David Jolly, Ander Crenshaw and Tom Rooney.
Scott is also scheduled to meet with Sen. Marco Rubio.
Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson have called on the U.S. Senate to fully fund President Barack Obama’s request for $1.9 billion to combat the spread of the virus. In an editorial last week, Rubio said it was “crucial to stopping the spread of the virus.”
In his statement, Beruff said Congress needs to listen to Scott and Rubio, and “act immediately to ensure that Florida has the resources it needs to prevent and treat this disease.”
Beruff faces Rep. Ron DeSantis, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Todd Wilcox and Jolly in the race to replace Rubio in the U.S. Senate. The Republican primary is Aug. 30.