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Miami Beach mayor: We need a Zika bill

philip levine cuomo intv newday_00002106
philip levine cuomo intv newday_00002106


    Miami Beach Mayor: We need a Zika bill


Miami Beach Mayor: We need a Zika bill 02:48

Story highlights

  • Miami Beach mayor says Washington needs to help with Zika
  • Federal bill to combat Zika likely won't be voted on until after Labor Day

(CNN)With the number of Zika cases in the United States growing, the mayor of Miami Beach, Florida, says he's frustrated that Congress still hasn't passed a bill to help combat the virus.

In Florida, there have been 523 travel-related cases, including at least 157 in Miami-Dade County. There have been 43 locally transmitted cases statewide.
    Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said the local government has been doing what it can but insists Washington needs to help out.
    "It's the responsibility of the federal government to get back to work and pass some type of Zika bill," Levine told Chris Cuomo on CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday.
    Congress voted on a bill before the summer recess, but lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement, so legislation has been put off until after Labor Day.
    Meanwhile, 2,260 people around the country have become infected as of August 17, and the number is growing. Levine said Miami Beach is doing its part to educate residents and tourists as well as eliminating standing water or garbage where Zika-spreading mosquitoes can lay eggs.
    "It is not right to play politics with people's lives," Levine said.
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    Levine had also expressed frustration about the lack of communication from state officials about the spread of Zika in his community. But at a roundtable discussion about the virus in Miami, Gov. Rick Scott assured local leaders they would start getting accurate information in a timely manner.
    Levine, a Democrat, said he takes the Republican governor at his word.
    "This is not a Republican or Democrat issue," Levine said to Cuomo. "This is an issue that affects all of us."