Fed up with inaction on pending legislation to fund Zika research, Florida Rep. David Jolly took to the House floor on Wednesday with a container filled with 100 mosquitoes.
“I rise today to talk about Zika, and I rise with about 100 mosquitoes straight from Florida,” Jolly said. “Mosquitoes capable of carrying the Zika virus. This is the reason for the urgency, this is the reason for the fear.”
Jolly’s speech comes a day after the Senate blocked a $1.1 billion spending bill that would have allocated funds to fight the disease. Democrats say they’re concerned about language in the bill that would have prevented funding to Planned Parenthood.
“The time for politics of Zika is over. The politics of Zika are garbage right now,” Jolly said.
During his address, Jolly posed a scenario in which the mosquitoes he was holding were loose in the chamber.
“Can you imagine, colleagues, the fear and anxiety in this chamber if these 100 mosquitos were outside of this jar and not inside this jar?” 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 also said that the mosquitoes in the container were not infected with Zika.
Watch Jolly’s address below.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.