Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is asking the White House to appoint a “Zika czar.”
CBS News in Albany reports Schumer saying the Zika czar would “coordinate between federal agencies and foreign governments to prevent the spread of the virus.”
President Barack Obama has already asked for $1.8 billion from Congress for Zika, so the office Schumer envisions would be very well-funded. He encouraged creating the position before mosquito season gets underway in the United States.
That would be a very short timetable, as mosquito season will begin fairly soon across much of the southern United States.
“With dozens of Zika cases now in America, it’s time for the feds to step in and appoint a lead person who can rein in the outbreak before it spreads even further,” said Schumer, as quoted by the New York Daily News.
Syracuse.com notes there have been 11 positive cases of Zika infection among residents of New York State, all of them travelers who visited countries where Zika is spreading.