Late last week, just after Hawaii Governor David Ige signed an emergency proclamation against mosquito borne illnesses, dengue and Zika fever, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), who previously urged the governor to make this move, commented.

Image/National Atlas of the United States
Image/National Atlas of the United States

“Governor Ige’s proclamation today recognizes the importance and urgency of the situation Hawaiʻi Island residents are facing with dengue fever incidents increasing, and the global concern of the Zika virus continuing to spread.  This proclamation and ensuing release of resources, personnel, and tools to take important action steps within our communities on Hawaiʻi Island are critical steps toward eradicating this disease-spreading mosquito, getting rid of dengue, and preventing the Zika virus from taking hold,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

“Hawaiʻi Island residents and guests deserve aggressive coordinated action from all levels of government, the private sector, and healthcare providers.  The increasing number of cases, which grew to 255 today, continues to impact the health and safety of our people and the economy.  Our keiki and kūpuna are especially vulnerable, as they are less able to defend themselves against these types of diseases.

“I look forward to working with the Governor and Mayor Kenoi’s team to address other issues that the community has identified remain problematic, such as the difficulty in accessing completely free testing for dengue and the timeliness of getting the results.”

On Wednesday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke on the House floor to urge support for and passage of President Obama’s emergency request for $1.8 billion to prepare and respond to the Zika virus.