Suddenly, a mosquito-borne disease in Brazil known as the Zika virus is arousing fear here, thanks to reports that it can cause birth defects and be spread to at least parts of nations like ours.
The Obama administration has announced that it will throw nearly $2 billion at research and other measures aimed at preventing Zika’s transmission and impact.
Incredibly, another, far more deadly import from Latin America is now considered less threatening: burgeoning drug smuggling by narco-trafficking cartels and gangs. While the loss of life here so far to Zika is negligible, more than 100 Americans die every day due to drug overdoses. And some politicians are pushing to release convicted traffickers, most of whom will resume their deadly trade.
Let’s stop the Zika virus. But we also have to fight those other toxic hemispheric imports: narcotics and their purveyors.