Four Texas federal officials call for answers from CDC on San Antonio patient release

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Both of Texas’ senators and two San Antonio area congressmen are calling for more answers from the CDC on its quarantine release protocols.

On the House side, Rep. Joaquin Castro and Rep. Lloyd Doggett are requesting an oversight investigation into the CDC’s error that allowed a person with a pending COVID-19 test being released into San Antonio.

“The CDC has acted irresponsibly, failing to adequately prepare for—and respond to—the COVID-19 threat. In just their latest misstep, the CDC discharged into the San Antonio community a patient who tested positive for the virus. This is completely unacceptable,” Congressman Castro said. “From the get-go, local health professionals in San Antonio have shouldered more than their share of the burden, performing admirably in a trying time. But federal authorities have fallen short. Congress must intervene swiftly to get information and hold CDC management accountable for their protocols. San Antonians deserve answers to serious questions about this Administration’s reckless approach to public safety.”

Congressman Lloyd Doggett said, “Risking spread of coronavirus through the release of an evacuee with pending test results is just another example of the chaotic Trump Administration approach. Failed, ill-prepared presidential leadership jeopardizes Americans’ health. Fortunately, our local public health officials moved swiftly to contain the threat and to identify those put at risk.”

On the Senate side, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn sent a letter Tuesday to the CDC expressing their concern about the public’s health after the patient roamed around North Star Mall Saturday before being returned to isolation.

“We understand that COVID-19 is a new virus and we are still learning about the cycle of infection and diagnostic criteria,” the two wrote in their letter. “However, we are deeply concerned that CDC would allow an individual who had tested positive to reenter the community and risk wider public exposure. To this end, we have questions on how this incident occurred and how it can be avoided in the future.”

In addition to the letter, the senators released the following statement:

“The health and safety of the people in Texas is our top priority. We need to take every necessary precaution to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect lives, and to do so we need to understand the science and the facts from those on the frontlines in San Antonio, Texas, who bore the brunt of the quarantine. We will continue to push for answers from the CDC and work closely with Governor Abbott and Texas health officials to make sure more individuals do not become infected.”

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