Congress is dragging its feet on funding the fight against the Zika virus and one Florida congressman is taking a theatrical step in protest.
“I rise today to talk about Zika,” Rep. David Jolly, R-FL, said as he began to address the House of Representatives on Wednesday. “And I rise with about 100 mosquitoes straight from Florida.”
No, he wasn’t being metaphorical. Video posted by CSPAN shows the congressman was actually holding a jar of live mosquitoes in his hand.
Jolly was trying to communicate the distress and anxiety Floridians are feeling over growing reports of the insect-born disease in the Miami area. And he did it with live mosquitoes.
Jolly was quick to point out the bugs from the University of South Florida were not carriers of the virus. But he still thought it would have an effect if he released them into the room (he did not).
“Can you imagine, colleagues, the fear and anxiety in this chamber if the 100 mosquitoes were outside this jar and not inside this jar?” Jolly said. “That is the fear and anxiety of Floridians.”
Jolly did criticize President Obama’s original plan to fight Zika as going too far, but he had harsher words for Congress for failing to pass a compromise.
“The time for politics of Zika is over. The politics of Zika are garbage right now,” Jolly said.
Maybe it would help if Jolly could convince his own party to stop tying funding to help Zika to defunding Planned Parenthood. Because he’s right, those politics are garbage.