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Texas lawmakers call for investigation into CDC's handling of released coronavirus patient in San Antonio

Texas lawmakers call for investigation into CDC's handling of released coronavirus patient in San Antonio
© Greg Nash

Texas Democratic Reps. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroWhy paid internships matter for foreign policy careers State Department establishes chief officer in charge of diversity Texas governor faces criticism over handling of winter storm fallout MORE and Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettHouse panel advances portion of relief package that includes ,400 checks Democrats urge repeal of business loss tax breaks in relief package Pediatrician killed in hostage situation at Texas medical center MORE are calling for a congressional investigation into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) handling of a coronavirus patient who was released in San Antonio while still carrying the disease. 

The two lawmakers sent the letter Monday, the same day the mayor of San Antonio announced a local state of disaster and public health emergency after a patient who tested “weakly positive” for the coronavirus following their release from quarantine visited a local mall before being requarantined.

“This disturbing incident is just the latest misstep by the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services that San Antonio has encountered this month,” read the letter, which was addressed to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. 

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More than 120 people have been quarantined at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio since they were evacuated from China last month. On Monday, the city of San Antonio called on the CDC and other federal entities to raise the standards for releasing patients who have tested positive for the virus.

“We have worked with local officials to communicate the concerns of the community to the CDC,” Doggett and Castro wrote. “Sometimes they have listened and sometimes, unfortunately, they have not. After allowing the release of a positive case into our community, it is time for Congress to investigate CDC COVID-19 protocols.”

The same day, Texas’s two Republican Sens., Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Major offshore wind project update | Biden to propose revocation of Trump bird rule | 12 states sue Biden over 'social cost' of greenhouse gases The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - Relief bill to become law; Cuomo in trouble GOP stumbles give Democrats new hope in Texas MORE and John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - Relief bill to become law; Cuomo in trouble GOP stumbles give Democrats new hope in Texas Senate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill MORE, sent a letter to the CDC citing concerns over its handling of the case in San Antonio. 

Unlike their Democratic colleagues in the House, Cruz and Cornyn did not explicitly call for an investigation but did send a list of questions to the CDC regarding protocol and how it was applied to the case in San Antonio. 

“We understand that COVID-19 is a new virus and we are still learning about the cycle of infection and diagnostic criteria,” their letter read. "However, we are deeply concerned CDC would allow an individual who tested had tested positive to reenter the community and risk wider public exposure."