Fla. Dept. of Health to spend $7 million on Ebola preparedness

There are no confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in Florida, but state health officials are spending millions preparing for possible infections.

That much was revealed in a letter signed by state Surgeon General John Armstrong, which was supplied to Watchdog.org by a public health joint information center.

Ebola Virus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention photo

Armstrong notified CDC Director Thomas Frieden on Tuesday the Florida Department of Health is redirecting over $7 million in funding “to strengthen Florida’s preparedness efforts related to the emerging Ebola threat.”

That includes the immediate use of $250,000 of Hospital Preparedness Funds, and $1 million of Public Health Emergency Preparedness funds.

The hospital allocation comes from a federal program intended to boost overall hospital capabilities at both the state and local levels.

The public emergency funding is deemed “critical” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is directed to health departments to improve emergency capabilities, including responses to infectious diseases.

Watchdog.org contacted the state department of health for further clarification, but all media inquiries are routed back to a joint information center — a public information entity set up to coordinate official responses among relevant agencies and organizations.

A request for comment from the JIC was not immediately returned.

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