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 Castro This week: Congress set for bipartisan coronavirus talks as clock ticks Sherman joins race for House Foreign Affairs gavel Castro launches bid for House Foreign Affairs gavel MORE and Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettOvernight Health Care: Fauci says family has faced threats | Moderna to charge to a dose for its vaccine | NYC adding checkpoints to enforce quarantine GOP plan would boost deduction for business meals Gilead sets price for five-day coronavirus treatment at ,120 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. 


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 CruzThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  Ted Cruz bashes Oprah for 'lecture' on race: 'What utter, racist BS' Senate Democrats prepare seven-figure spending spree in Texas MORE and John CornynJohn CornynSkepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal Republicans uncomfortably playing defense Negotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts 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."