TIME Congress

Congressman Brings 100 Mosquitoes to House Floor to Make a Point About Zika

"This is the fear of Floridians, right here"

Republican Rep. David Jolly brought a canister with about 100 mosquitoes from his home state of Florida to the House floor on Wednesday in an attempt to draw attention to the Zika outbreaks there.

“This is the reason for the urgency,” Jolly said. “This is the reason for the fear.” While the mosquitoes in his jar were not active carriers, he made the point that “they could be,” and could travel outside of the regions where they are currently plaguing his constituents. He expressed frustration that funding to stop the spread of Zika has been held up in Congress, with Democrats accusing Republicans of adding “poison pills” to the bills.

“Can you imagine, colleagues, the fear and anxiety in this chamber if these hundred mosquitoes were outside this jar not inside this jar?” Jolly said. “Members of Congress would run down the hall to the physician’s office to be tested, they would spray themselves before coming down here. This is the fear of Floridians, right here.”

Jolly, who is currently up for reelection against former governor Charlie Crist, urged Congress to fund measures combatting the virus, especially efforts to develop a vaccine.


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