U.S. Congressman Micheal Burgess told NBC 5 people should not travel to Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics because of the Zika virus outbreak.
“I’m not speaking from the government, from the CDC, from my committee, but why in the world would you travel to an area where Zika virus is a problem? I’m talking about Central or South America. The cases that we’ve had here in Texas, if I’m not mistaken, all have been individuals who have traveled to an area where the virus is endemic and then brought it back here. So please be careful with your travel. I think that is the number one issue,” said the congressman.
“Let me be politically incorrect. Look, I was around in 1980 when Jimmy Carter canceled the Olympics for our athletes. It was a devastating consequence, but I don’t see how you ignore this public health threat with our young athletes going to that area. I just don’t see how you do it,” he said.
When asked if he was recommending people not go the Olympic games, Congressman Burgess said, “that would be my advice. I know, that’s not the CDC’s position, that’s not the state department’s position, but when I call those two agencies, you get this, ‘it’s a state department decision, it’s a CDC decision.’ No one is making the decision. If I was making the decision? Don’t go. Skip the Olympics.”
You can watch the entire interview this Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on Lone Star Politics on NBC 5.
Congressman Michael Burgess is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives representing Texas's 26th congressional district.
He practiced medicine in North Texas for nearly three decades and sits on a health subcommittee.