MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine insists mosquito control crews are working long and hard to remove the threat.READ MORE: Times Square Shooting Suspect Farrakhan Muhammad Taken Into Custody In Florida
The hot zone runs from 8th Street to 28th Street — from the beach on the east to the bay on the west.
“We’re just going into an eradication mode,” said Mayor Levine. “This can be beaten. We will beat this. It will take some time, we’ll make sure of it.”
— Mayor Philip Levine (@MayorLevine) August 21, 2016
Thursday night Gov. Rick Scott’s office denied repeated questions by CBS4 reporters about whether any cases were now linked to Miami Beach.
A day later, the governor admitted the beach was a new hot zone.
The about-face frustrated Mayor Levine and other local leaders who say the governor kept them in the dark about the safety of their own communities.
The mayor quickly called out Gov. Scott and the State Health Dept. in both the local and national media.
“The governor was not communicating with myself or Mayor Gimenez when he gave his press conference,” said Levine. “And I’m sorry to say, he did a press conference like that for political points. The one thing you know is, I don’t care what leader it is, do not play politics with people’s lives. It’s not right and no one will stand for that.”READ MORE: Israelis In South Florida Monitoring Violence In Home Country, Want It To Stop
In response, the governor’s office wrote Sunday:
“Gov. Scott has been in contact with mayors, local officials and community leaders for weeks and will continue to keep them informed.”
“I think the message has been heard loud and clear,” said Levine. “I got a voice message late yesterday afternoon (Saturday) from the governor just saying, ‘anything we can do, let me know.’ It was about a three second message on my cell phone.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institutes of Health told ABC News that Zika could be around for the next couple of years.
“I would not be surprised if we see cases in Texas and Louisiana, particularly now where you have the situation with flooding in Louisiana,” Dr. Fauci stated. “There are going to be a lot of problems getting rid of standing water.”
Pregnant women are the health officials’ biggest worry given Zika is believed to cause devastation birth defects in unborn babies.
“I don’t want to be outside unnecessarily,” said Surfside resident Dr. Karla Maguire, who only leaves home these days to go to work, slathered in bug spray.
Karla is pregnant and she’s an obstetrician. Due in February, fun with her first son means staying indoors until then.
“I think that’s what people are most afraid of, and especially my pregnant ladies, is that it can be pretty devastating,” she said. “It is tough because one of the things I like doing with him, since he’s so energetic, is playing outside. So being inside and kind of entertaining myself is sad but I’ll get through it.”MORE NEWS: Woman Who Snuck Into American Sr. High Posing As Student To Promote Instagram Account Bonds Out