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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 CastroMeet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House Hispanic Caucus endorses Castro for Foreign Affairs gavel Progressive Democrats call on Pompeo to condemn Israeli demolition of Beduin village MORE and Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettCongress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Trump order on drug prices faces long road to finish line 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 CruzO'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE and John CornynJohn CornynCornyn says election outcome 'becoming increasingly clear': report Top GOP senator: Biden should be getting intel briefings GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results 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."