ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP)Sen. Charles Schumer says the federal government should reimburse New York City and Bellevue Hospital Center for costs related to Ebola.

The New York Democrat said Sunday that more than $20 million has been spent on tracking health professionals and others arriving from Ebola-stricken countries and treating Dr. Craig Spencer, a physician who recovered from the illness after receiving treatment at Bellevue.

Schumer said federal reimbursement for most of the costs is justified because the efforts are helping to prevent the deadly disease from getting a foothold in the United States.

“What New York City does not only affects our city, but it helps protect the whole country,” Schumer told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola, on Sunday.

“Simply put, local communities, local taxpayers should not foot the whole bill for handling this infectious disease,” Schumer said.

The senator said President Barack Obama has requested $6.1 billion from Congress for Ebola. New York state is currently slated to receive only about $14.5 million.

Schumer is also calling for the creation of a new “Ebola fund” to defray the costs for local governments who have to take similar steps in the future. A similar fund already exists to help areas fight tuberculosis.

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