Cicilline urges CDC chief to alert states of travelers from any countries with coronavirus

Cicilline urges CDC chief to alert states of travelers from any countries with coronavirus
© Greg Nash

Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineLocal news outlets struggle to survive coronavirus fallout The Hill's 12:30 Report: House to vote on .2T stimulus after mad dash to Washington Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' MORE (D-R.I.) called Tuesday on the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to alert state governments to incoming travelers arriving from countries experiencing coronavirus outbreaks.

In a letter obtained by CBS affiliate WPRI, Cicilline pointed to recent reports of the virus in Rhode Island resulting in dozens of state residents being monitored for the disease as an example of why agencies should be alerted as early as possible to potential carriers.

"I strongly urge the CDC to provide notifications to state agencies when travelers arrive in the U.S. from other countries with significant or elevated reports of incidents of COVID-19," he wrote, using the official term for the virus.

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"Transparency during this time is critical to ensuring that Americans have access to accurate and timely information needed to prevent contamination and to seek treatment when appropriate," Cicilline added.

Democrats have hammered the Trump administration over its response to the global coronavirus outbreak thus far, accusing the president of downplaying the virus's seriousness while President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE himself has accused Democrats of perpetrating a "hoax" over the issue.

The CDC itself also has come under scrutiny amid the outbreak after it was revealed that it failed its first attempt to mass-produce a test kit for the disease.