Sen. Markey wants federal officials to outline their efforts to respond to coronavirus threat

His comments come a day after the first case of the virus was confirmed in Massachusetts.

 Sen. Edward J. Markey speaks to the media to discuss the latest on the U.S. Senate's impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Sen. Edward J. Markey speaks to the media to discuss the latest on the U.S. Senate's impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. –(Erin Clark / The Boston Globe)

BOSTON (AP) — A Democratic U.S. senator from Massachusetts discussed steps he thinks the federal government should take to address the threat of a new virus Sunday, the day after confirmation of the first case in the state.

Sen. Edward Markey visited the Cambridge Health Alliance in Everett, Massachusetts on Sunday, according to his office. Markey, the ranking member of a Senate subcommittee on East Asia, said he wants President Donald Trump to reestablish and immediately appoint a permanent global health chief to address the growing threat of the coronavirus.

President Barack Obama first established the position to coordinate a response to the Ebola outbreak in Africa, Markey said. Markey also wants federal officials to outline their efforts to respond to the current threat.

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Massachusetts health officials said Saturday that a Boston man had tested positive for the new virus that hit China and has spread to other nations— the first case in the state.

The man, who is in his 20s and a student at the University of Massachusetts Boston, recently traveled to Wuhan, China, and sought medical care soon after his return to Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Boston Public Health Commission. They said they were notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the positive test results late Friday.

He’s being kept in isolation at his home until he is cleared by public health officials.

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