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 CicillineDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit In their own words: Lawmakers, staffers remember Jan. 6 insurrection Lawmakers call for investigation into proposed AT&T WarnerMedia, Discovery merger 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 TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement 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.