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Hillary Clinton calls on Congress to return to Washington, pass Zika funding

Clinton speaks in Florida
Clinton speaks in Florida 01:58

MIAMI -- Speaking at a health center near the epicenter of the Zika crisis in Miami on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton called on Congress to return to Washington "immediately" and pass emergency funding to combat the spread of the disease.

"I am very disappointed that the Congress went on recess before actually agreeing on what they would do to put the resources into this fight," Clinton said. "I would very much urge the leadership of Congress to call people back for a special session and get a bill passed."

Zika spreads in Florida 03:38

She argued that Congress should pass the bipartisan bill passed in the Senate, or "come up with a new compromise" that gets "resources moving as quickly as possible." Clinton is pushing for the creation of a rapid diagnostic test for Zika and research and development for a vaccine.

Clinton's running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, has also called on his colleagues to return to Washington.

Ahead of her remarks, Clinton, on a two-day trip through the battleground state, took a brief tour of Borinquen Health Center, which is located within the zone identified by state and national health officials where the virus is being spread by mosquitoes. Just as she arrived, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced in a press release that state health officials had identified four additional people in Florida with Zika, who likely got the virus from a mosquito bite.

Clinton met with doctors, and a pregnant woman who took a Zika test at the clinic, which provides free testing to residents and commuters in the Wynwood neighborhood.

"What percentage of positives?" Clinton inquired. A doctor told her that, so far, the number is "low."

But while Clinton cautioned that the public should not be "unduly" alarmed, she maintained that Zika is "something we need to take seriously."

"I disagree with those who say Zika is an insignificant issue," Clinton said, referring to Donald Trump's campaign officials in Florida. "I think that does a grave disservice."

Carlos A. Giménez, the mayor of Miami-Dade County, also joined Clinton for the tour. Gimenez, a Republican who backed Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio earlier in the campaign, said he didn't come to the health center to endorse Clinton. It was their first time meeting.

"I'm glad to see that the Secretary is worried about [Zika] and wants to be informed about it," he said. "I'm here to let her know what we're doing and I think we're doing a really good job here."

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