MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida Governor Rick Scott startled diners at a Miami Beach deli as he toured businesses in the heart of the Zika threat.
The governor chatted with residents and business owners and was praised for his efforts to battle the virus as he walked 41st Street.
He told them he is allocating an additional $25 million to develop a vaccine and a new test so pregnant women can find out sooner if they have the virus. He expressed frustration over the inability to secure federal funding to fight the spread of Zika.
“The federal government doesn’t show up. Jobs are tied to tourism and we have to make sure we beat this,” said Scott.
He also stopped to chat with longtime residents who have noticed a dip in tourism.
Debi Weiss flew into South Florida and said her flight was half empty.
“Very unusual and usually the planes are full,” said Weiss.
Despite protests over the chemical Naled, considered toxic, aerial spraying continues in the city.
Local transmission continues to spread. It’s nearly a week since the hot zone tripled on the beach, extending from 8th to 63rd Street from the ocean.
The manager of the deli where Scott visited told CBS4’s Joan Murray it’s been a slow week for him and for some of his neighbors.
“It could be the Zika. It could be anything but it’s definitely less than we’ve seen in a long time,” said the manager Brice Ciener.
The manager of a Miami Beach hardware store told the governor people are still shopping especially for bug spray.
As the governor headed out of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez flew into Miami, back from Washington where he pressed for federal help to fight Zika.
“This problem is now not only hitting unborn babies but it’s also hitting our pocketbooks and, you know, our quality of life, so we need to stamp this out right now,” said Gimenez.